How The Athena Programme was born…

I started the business in 2007 as I wanted to follow my dreams of using creativity, the arts and really making a difference for protecting and safeguarding the vulnerable.

I left my job with a Local Safeguarding Children Board after completing an MA in Arts-Health. The MA is where I got my initial ideas for the business and the seeds were sown.  No cash flow but had a fierce determination, self belief and commitment to ‘safeguarding’ to drive the business the seeds have truly blossomed. I initially used the contacts in my network to begin, my vision on a flip chart of a back bedroom wall, a computer and phone!

Athena grew from a lifestyle business to a team with associates. Two office moves, a building renovation, and employment of staff, all whilst pregnant.  The birth of my daughter meant little time off. I communicated daily with the team and customers and attended meetings and events, all with baby in tow! Thereafter I embarked on learning and a mission to know all I could about business from marketing, conferencing, being an awesome networker, PR, sales initiatives, product development, contractual agreements, cash flow forecasts, web development & social media, public speaking, strategic direction, IT systems, managing growth, our USP, partnerships, branding, customer relationship management, and much more.

 In some tough times and through sometimes tears… this has meant thinking outside the box and being extremely proactive. I have done this by resourcefully using my networking skills, exploiting contacts, cold calling, and consistently asking for referrals.  Knocking on doors when others may have given up! Taking the approach of ‘working together for safeguarding’ has been mirrored in business networking and a strategy for collaborative partnerships.

More recently of the past few years following a house move, divorce, death of my mother and other personally challenging events my strength and focus still remains on the business and another profitable year.

 A little more about me…

I am a the Managing Director that has developed and built the company on a solid foundation of my own vision, values, determination, passion and idealistic social worker view of simply ‘making a difference in the world’. I have had a dynamic international career across the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

However I am also a mum, friend, daughter, sister, aunty, partner, tai chi teacher, a PhD student, Trustee for ‘Inspiration’ (a North West charity for ovarian cancer set up by mum before she died) and a volunteer / fundraiser.

I believe I am a committed, caring, loyal and passionate person who is highly experienced and knowledgeable I am a very enthusiastic expert in the field.  I am an all or nothing person and give my all too all the roles I play in my life but most importantly I find balance, movement in stillness and also some quality time for me. I love running, sewing, art, dancing and of course shoes, bags and shopping.

 Why I would like to win…

Two years ago I did not win my category for these awards and last year I was also nominated and I declined as the timing was not right. Personally facing so many losses and challenges I was not at my best. Now I feel I am on the verge of it all happening I am beginning to shine and flourish equally so is Athena. I love my work and feel privileged and at times truly humbled that I have been able to share with the world my ideas and our work does change landscapes.

I have put in hours and hours, days and nights of my time to get here today and sometimes it is nice to be recognised for it. I want to stand proud and show and share with other women anything is possible even amongst total adversity, chaos and loss.

My work and studies are devoted to my daughter for a better life, always improving myself but similarly my work is for all those children and adults that find themselves at risk of harm. For the customers, a CEO or a support worker to improve their daily practice or change organisational systems for the good of others. I truly believe it’s time to show case women at the top of their game and our work of Athena.

I am asking for extra special support and if you are able to share my post and ask others to vote. It would mean the world to win and give our training / my trainers the recognition they deserve.

Many thanks and appreciation in advance.

Please take a moment and Vote for me by clicking on the link below.  

Thank-You once again for reading my post and your vote x

Finalist: Training & Coaching Enterprise Vision Awards 2014

http://www.evavoting.co.uk/vote.php?this_category=Training%20and%20Coaching%20Business%20of%20the%20Year&this_finalist_name=Sarah%20Goodall&this_finalist_company=The%20Athena%20Programme&this_finalist_pic=%20DSC_7477.jpg