Lancaster University

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Lancaster Graduate Wins Extraordinary Women of the Year Award 2011

05/12/2011 00:00:00


Lancaster graduate and entrepreneur Sarah Goodall, who set up a training and consultancy company, has achieved national recognition at the annual Extraordinary Women of the Year Awards 2011.

She studied social work at the Department of Applied Social Science before becoming a social worker and then setting up The Athena Programme, based in Clitheroe in the Ribble Valley.

She caught the judges’ attention with her inspirational leadership and enthusiasm, winning in the Extraordinary Entrepreneurship category.

Sarah said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won this award. It’s a great honour. My goal has always been to increase the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults and by being recognised in this way, on a national platform, will help the Athena Programme go from strength to strength

The Athena Programme delivers creative training and consultancy services to a variety of statutory, voluntary and private organisations aimed at safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The company tailors each course to their specific clients to make them safer in their practice.

In a few years, Sarah’s business has seen a rapid development, with a steady year on year increase in turnover and profit, and now has a team of 6 permanent staff and a number of training associates.

Over 3,500 people have been trained on safeguarding, which translates into around 35,000 children who have potentially been helped.

Sarah puts the success of her business down to flexible business planning, a committed and loyal team, quality services, managing growth, an integrated marketing strategy, value pricing, and seeking and receiving investment. Athena is recognised as the market leader for creativity, innovation and best practice in its field of business.

Extraordinary Women organiser Vicki Espin said: “There were over 100 nominations, so these women are the crème de la crème of all those we received. Every single person attending the Extraordinary Women conference has gone away feeling truly inspired by the amazing stories we’ve heard.”