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Caithness News Bulletins December 2003

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DIANA MACDONALD - New Caithness Chiropodist
After having qualified from Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh with an honours degree in Podiatry, 22 year old DIANA MACDONALD returned to her home county of Caithness to start up her business as a Chiropodist; based at her home in Hempriggs near Wick and travelling to her clients across the area.

Diana launched her business in August this year and welcomed the assistance from the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT), At the early stages of the business it is getting the finance in place to be able to sustain the work while you get established which could quite easily sway you from working for yourself. However the PSYBT have been extremely helpful, both with the Ŗ1000 loan and Ŗ1000 grant I was awarded and the aftercare which is regular and ensures things are going to plan.

A HIE-Start financial package was also awarded from Dianašs local enterprise company, Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise.

Diana is state registered and a member of the society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, which has given extra substance to her business reputation. The majority of her clients require general footcare with the average consultation taking 45 minutes and with Caithness being such a large area to cover she is finding that the diary needs to be organised to concentrate on specific communities on certain days ­ that way making best use of time.

Diana says: "I was very keen to set up in Caithness.  That's where my family live, I was brought up here. And there was definitely a market for my services".

Workload is increasing as a greater number of people learn about Dianašs skills, "I advertise the business locally but it is the kind of profession which generates it's own interest. Leading to talks to local societies as well as the WRI. Caithness also has the kind of community with spreads your name through word of mouth".

On her first few months in business Diana said "I am delighted the way things have taken off and to be able to work in my home area is an added bonus. I have more ambitious plans for the business and feel I have the backing and support to achieve that thanks to the Princešs Scottish Youth Business Trust".

Soon Diana MacDonald will be required to update certain aspects of the profession with a Continual Professional Development course. "This ensures I donšt slip behind with procedures and combined with my membership to the Highland Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists I have access to advice in business as well as the profession".