When Veena Shah received a letter inviting her and her children to join a healthy eating and lifestyle programme, it turned out to be just the job.
Because less than five months later she was working for the Hounslow Council-backed scheme as a community engagement officer.
Mum of three Veena was at a turning point in her life when the invitation from the BeeZee Bodies programme came along.
BeeZee Bodies is part of the Healthy Hounslow family and offers support with healthy eating and weight management.
“I was looking for a new direction after being at home for a while,” Veena said. “I was a bit reluctant at first but I thought I would just give it a go to try and improve the family’s health.”
BeeZee Bodies offered a free 12-week programme of support on healthy eating, exercise and general wellbeing.
The 41-year-old went along to the first session with her twins India and Ennis, aged five and elder child Shai-Ram, aged seven. After a bit of a confessed ‘wobble’, the family were soon into the swing of the sessions. The weeks flew by and soon they were graduating from the healthy lifestyle course.
“It was about that time that one of the coaches mentioned that there may be a job opportunity with BeeZee Bodies,” said Veena. “After staying at home with the children, I was looking for part-time work. So, I decided to give it a go.”
Veena was given the role of Hounslow’s first community engagement officer for BEeZee Bodies.
Nowadays, you’ll often see her out and about in the community, talking with people about their health. She also helps to deliver the same course that she and the children took part in.
“I haven’t looked back,” Veena said. “I am constantly out at events and activities and helping people to achieve their goals. There is so much on offer for people in Hounslow if they need support. It’s just a case of finding out what is right for you.”
She added: “On top of all that my family are healthier and happier than they’ve ever been. All because I responded to the invitation and said ‘yes’.”
Her advice to others out there is simple: “Just go for it!”
“Taking a chance has transformed my life for the better and I believe that it can do the same for other people.”