Former PRIME Cymru mentee wins prestigious UK Enterprise Award
May 13, 2024

“There is a path ahead”

Sometimes career paths can take an unexpected turn and you are left without a plan, searching for new avenues of employment. 

Starting your own business can be a practical option – putting the control back in your hands. 

Dr Nick Johns came to PRIME Cymru with this experience. He worked for years as a senior university lecturer, but mental health struggles meant he had to leave this role. He was left feeling stuck, unable to find work he was comfortable with. 

Nick Johns

Speaking about his past achievements, Nick’s resilience is evident. Leaving school with no qualifications, he didn’t let this stop him. He took on night lessons, got into university and went on to receive a PHD. 

Now, after being unable to continue teaching, he has built up an online community with ‘Radical Rhymes’, expressing his views through poetry and painting. He credits art and creative writing for ‘keeping him alive’ when times have been hard. 

Volunteer Mentor, Brian Birtles, encouraged Nick to pursue his art professionally and he has been going from strength to strength. 

Nick said: “Brian has been very insightful, empathetic and kind. He’s been really helpful to bounce ideas off and helped me a lot with the business plan and finding a studio space.” 



In 2022, Nick was approached by a book publisher and has most recently released his book ‘Embers of Hope – motivational poetry and art to get through life’. His artwork is being sold all over the world, he has two more books in the works and he has been invited to display his work in Mumbai. 

Nick added: “I’m really enjoying this path – I feel like it’s the path I was meant to be on. I hope others can take something from my story, that there is a path ahead.” 

You can find Nick’s work on Ko-fi, or check out his Twitter. 



If you are feeling stuck, needing some support with your career, PRIME Cymru offers free mentoring for employment and self-employment. Please contact us on 01550 721813 or email  

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