Cornish Business Leader Scoops Entrepreneur Award

The Cornish-based Joint CEO of a Community Interest Company specialising in providing frontline workers across the UK with new methods of trauma-informed practices is celebrating after being named the South West’s Best Small Business Entrepreneur at this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Since co-founding Rock Pool in 2017, Kirsty Passmore has helped guide the company to become an industry-leading training and service consultancy, supporting organisations across the UK working with people affected by and living with trauma. Its clients include Police and Crime Commissioners, Women’s Aid Services, Clinical Commissioning Groups, HM Prison Services along with numerous local authorities from across the UK.

Newlyn-resident Kirsty received her award at a ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, which brought together 1,200 UK entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals along with over 150 finalists.

Judges recognised her efforts in helping drive the business forward through the challenge and impact of the Covid Pandemic, which saw Rock Pool pivot its business model from classroom based teaching to online learning, increasing the annual number of delegates by approximately 200% and in doing so growing turnover to £1 million. 

Prior to launching Rock Pool with fellow Cornish entrepreneur Sue Penna – who is herself a national expert on domestic abuse and trauma informed practice – Kirsty built 14 years experience of working in the public sector at a senior strategic multi-agency level, specialising in Community Safety, Domestic Abuse and Family Intervention, for which she was also nationally recognised.

Using their combined experience and expertise – with Sue responsible for devising and creating the company’s renowned recovery programmes and training – the pair have successfully driven the company forward.  

Commenting on the award win Kirsty said: “This is a fantastic recognition of all the achievements and hard work everyone at Rock Pool has put in over the last 4 years…so it really is a matter of well done team!”

“We have grown from scratch to a £1 million a year turnover without any external investment and have been very careful to grow at a pace that we can support from operating profit whilst building a growing client base across the UK.

“It’s really important that we balance our desire to reach a wider audience, with a sensible growth plan that we can achieve without external finance and its fantastic to have been recognised for this work by the judges at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards,” added Kirsty.

Rock Pool’s mission is to contribute in transforming society so that everybody is better able to understand how human behaviour is influenced by trauma, providing educational and practical tools that enable people to gain new perspectives and change their lives.