Ann, a business owner of 20 years working as an accountant predominately with SMEs in the NE of England. Ann is founder and Chair of Assist Women’s Network, now in its 11th year. The organisation has clear aims and objectives to empower, support and connect business and professional women.
Mentoring has been an underlying theme for over 15+years. Firstly through the Princes Trust, supporting young women who launched their start-up business. In them same years Ann worked with Young Enterprise in both Primary and Secondary schools, this role took the shape of enterprise training, mentoring and judging. There was diversification within the business, alongside accountancy and tax returns Ann was asked to write practical training workshops for start-ups and social entrepreneurs within Teesside University and other institutions, this also included some years of mentoring graduates as they took their first entrepreneurial steps .
Ann took the role of a Director and Vice-Chair of Women into the Network (WIN) as it was converted from the University of Durham funded programme into a commercial organisation. As Finance Director Ann was part of the team managing the North East Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
In 2014 Ann was honoured with a Queens Award of Enterprise Promotion (QAEP) following a nomination by her fellow Directors.
Ann was part of Inspire2Learn’s Inspiring Girls for IWD for many years, this was a day spent working with 100+ school girls, running short sessions with other women to inspire, followed by a debate session to close the day.
As a TVCA Careers and Enterprise Adviser working with Trinity Catholic College since 2017, this is a role that bridges the students and the school with the business community to help meet the required benchmarks.
Ann is proud to be the current holder of the Lifelong Inspiration Award 2019, a Tees Business Women Award. This gives recognition to the voluntary work with women and the younger generations.
Recently Ann was part of the PlanUK project, addressing previous findings some years ago, ‘Middlesbrough is the worst place for girls to grow up’ as part of the AssistHER team we ran a programme #ThisBoroGirlCan with the findings making up part of the official Plan UK report launched in January.
Ann is part of the GENE (Gender Entrepreneurial North East) Advisory Board, leading steering groups locally as the team collects data and evidence for this academic research, entrepreneurial policy change is planned using these findings and that of additional data.
She has recently just joined The Girls Network, the first cohort to mentor in the Tees Valley working with teenage girls.
I found Assist through a love of books and a desire for personal development but what I discovered was so much more. Whatever you come to Assist for it will benefit all aspects of your life; personal, professional and community. It is positive action for women on Teesside to support and empower each other and most importantly, to thrive. Why would you not want to be a part of this?
Hayley Mclean – Anderson Barrowcliff LLP
Since joining Assist I have been invited to events including Hidden Women of Teesside, where I had the chance to network with local business women and build contacts. I felt very welcomed and part of something supportive of where I'm at today and what I'm trying to achieve. I now have an experienced mentor for the next year to help me focus and build my dreams. Lastly I was invited to the Assist Christmas meal which was amazing as being self-employed and a small grassroots organisation, it can get lonely so I was grateful for the opportunity to connect with other women feeling the same way and trying to achieve great things.
Annalice Argyle – Trac UK (Teesside)
Independent Recovery Advocates and Consultants & Lobster Recovery
Having struggled for a while to find a womens network in Teesside, i stumbled across of the Assist events by chance. How happy i am that i did. Ann and the team make the networking fun and relevant, informative and comfortable. I've made several really good business connections, but mostly i've met some great women who i know i could turn to for advice, or even just to meet for a coffee. We all face the same issues within business and personally and the Assist meet's allow collaboration, suggestion, support and smiles. Thank you Assist x
Katie Kendall – Hays Recruitment
ASSIST is just the most wonderful organisation. Filled with decent, powerful, creative, useful, intelligent and interesting people. And, the networking meetings smell so much better than normal ones :)
Jackie Dack of TEAL
Personal Performance Coach