Anne Ganley - helping women into work.

Thompson boss helps prisoners

Published:  22 August, 2012

SUNDERLAND: The managing director of one of the North East’s leading independent builders’ merchants has been praised for her work helping women leaving prison on their road to employment.

Anne Ganley, managing director of Thompson Building Centres, is one of a group of North East business people involved with the I’m Ready For Work scheme, run by Business In The Community, one of the Prince Of Wales’ charities.

The scheme was recently recognised at the 2012 North East Business in the Community awards held in Newcastle, winning the Partnership award on the night.

The project has been running for two years and has involved a number of workshops run at Durham’s Low Newton Prison to help women leaving jail prepare for the outside world – and employment.

Mrs Ganley is one of a number of leading business people from the region who have regularly visited the prison and worked with the women to help build their confidence and inspire them.

The scheme has been developed by Greggs PLC whose chief executive, Ken McMeikan, led the original visit to the prison and whose staff have worked with the prison to bring the programme to fruition.

Karen Wilkinson-Bell, Regional Director of Business In the Community, said the scheme had been a great success in “building the women’s confidence and employability.”

“This project has continued to evolve over the past two years and is a great example of partnership working,” she said.

“Anne has been crucial in this and she has made a massive impact on many of the women she has talked to.

“We have brought in business people from all walks of life to take the workshops but we know Anne is one of mentors that the women have continued to talk about and she’s a great example to them in proving what women can achieve.”

The I’m Ready For Work project is now running its fourth programme and some of the participants who have left prison have already found work.

“This has been an extremely rewarding project to have been involved with,” said Mrs Ganley.

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