The Athena Programme founder details a busy working life and her perfect day off.

Name: Sarah Goodall
Position: Founder and managing director
Company: The Athena Programme

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be an actress or a policewoman but was talked out of both. I then realised I wanted to help people so I went into social work.

What was your first wage packet and how did you spend it?
My first job was 22 years ago with Lakeland in St Ann’s Square, Manchester, and I think I spent it on clothes and a good night out.

What does your day-to-day work involve?
Depends what day it is. We provide training and consultancy to a range of clients who need to ensure that their staff or volunteers can safeguard young children or vulnerable adults with complete confidence.

Every day always starts with a quick check of emails, I keep up with contract developments, usually by whizzing through the office or phoning the team lots of times in a day. I make time to call past customers or new sales leads, then I may attend a business networking event which may include a lovely lunch or an evening do in a nice dress. Then I have meetings for public relations, marketing and partnerships and with new prospective customers.

Occasionally I will be delivering our services by working with a group of directors or trustees, then again, I may be attending or speaking at conference. Sometimes I take the recycling to the tip!

How do you unwind?
Go to the gym, practice tai chi, spend time with my family or friends and just make sure I have fun, no matter what I do!!

Describe your dream, no-expense-spared, day out:
This would have to be something exciting. Waking up for breakfast – overlooking a golden sanded beach on a yacht – cooked by a Michelin-star chef. Then some pampering like a massage and nice holistic therapies, finishing with a dip in the jacuzzi.

Light lunch at a fabulous port for some luxury shopping in exclusive stores like Gucci, Prada, Mui Mui, Marc Jacobs, Mulberry, Moschino… the list is endless. Return with shopping bags loaded with clothes, handbags, shoes, jewellery and perfume. Not forgetting a box of chocolates and bouquet of flowers.

Then back to yacht for some water sports like water-skiing or deep sea diving. Then a little more pampering having my nails and hair done before a glamorous cocktail party on the yacht for the evening. Champagne and canapés flowing for everyone. As well as a great DJ and a few live bands for a fun night of dancing and partying on the dance floor. Ending the night with fireworks on the beach!

Who is your all-time hero?
My mum for all always being there offering support, friendship, guidance and love. She is inspirational as she continues to fight against cancer and dedicate herself to voluntary work. She is the most amazing woman I am honoured to know and I’m so proud that she is my mum.

What is your favourite piece of advice?
You are either busy living or you’re busy dying…

For more information visit:

Lancashire Business View – Q+A with Sarah Goodall