Derbyshire women in business: helping people

Women in Business

Women in Business - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

8 Derbyshire women who offer expertise to people at various stages in their life.

Tracey Harrison

Tracey Harrison - Credit: Archant


Chief Executive - Safe and Sound Group

What's special about your business?

Safe and Sound was set up 17 years ago and is the only local charity with the experience and expertise to make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people who are vulnerable to exploitation. Thanks to the ongoing support for our Butterfly Appeal, we are broadening our work to support more young people and their families and to raise public awareness of the issue.

What keeps you focused?

Thousands of young people in our local communities are, at this very moment, being targeted by perpetrators who groom them for their own purposes. This certainly focuses our minds on the work we need to do to support vulnerable young people who would otherwise be at the mercy of these evil criminals.

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What do you love about your job?

Since retiring from a senior role with Derbyshire police and becoming CEO at Safe and Sound, I have been heartened by the support for our work from partner agencies, businesses and individuals across the county. Their financial, professional and practical support for my fantastic team of committed and passionate professionals is enabling us to keep more young people safe from exploitation, increase their self-confidence and esteem and help them move on with their lives.

First Floor, East Mill, Darley Abbey Mills, Darley Abbey, Derby DE22 1DZ 01332 362120

Madie Stravino

Madie Stravino - Credit: Archant


Chief Executive - Derby College Group (DCG)

What's special about your business?

DCG's business is education and the power of education is unquestionable. It shapes and changes lives and we are fortunate to be in a business that supports and serves so many. Students of all ages join us from many backgrounds and at different stages on their learning journeys. We enable them to progress to the next stages of their lives - be that work, university, business start-up or career development. However, we are not alone in our business and we are tremendously grateful to many employers who partner with us to support our students' learning and raise aspirations.

What do you love about your job?

I am extremely proud and privileged to do this job and to witness every day the development of Derbyshire's future business and civil leaders. Our team members and teachers inspire our students to become the best versions of themselves to succeed in work and life.

How do you unwind?

I have studied, practiced and taught yoga for over 20 years so it is a way of life for me now - beyond just a means of unwinding. My decision to study and qualify as a British Wheel of Yoga Teacher enables me to share this wellbeing tool with others so they can also benefit from this ancient science of the mind.

The Roundhouse, Joseph Wright Centre, Broomfield Hall, Ilkeston Community College and St James' Centre 0800 0280289

Karen Keeton

Karen Keeton - Credit: Archant


Headteacher - Barlborough Hall School

What's special about your business?

Since its inception as a Jesuit School in 1939, Barlborough Hall School has continued to develop and grow. Our Motto 'Men and Women for Others' is firmly embedded in all we do - in the classroom, on the sports fields and in the community. The 'Cura Persoanlis' is at the forefront, and Ignatian Spiritualty underpins all our teaching and learning. Our children have a strong understanding of their Jesuit identity and are proud to be part of such a special school. Barlborough Hall School is a happy and fun place to be, where the teaching and learning are engaging, interactive and reflective of the Jesuit style of learning.

What do you love about your job?

Every day is different and varied. My job enables me to have a daily impact on the development of our young children - helping them to strive for excellence in all they do. Seeing the children happy makes me feel 10 feet tall and bursting with pride. I have a dedicated group staff, who are part of the whole school community, and this makes make job so enjoyable.

What keeps you focused?

Knowing that everything I do will have a positive impact on the development of our children. I know that I make a difference to their futures and that makes me smile.

Barlborough Hall School, Barborough Park, Chesterfield S43 4ES 01246 810511

Nina Sharpe

Nina Sharpe - Credit: Archant


Adult Care Director - The SENAD Group

What's special about your business?

We support children and adults with Autism, learning difficulties and complex needs, both educationally and socially. Our employees make us special. This sector is tough, it's not the best paid and we deal with daily challenges. Our dedicated, hardworking staff make us successful. We have recently been awarded another 'Outstanding' CQC Inspection report for SENAD Community Derby. This is down to the whole team doing their jobs to the very best of their ability.

What do you love about your job?

My job has such variety, it's a cliché, but every day is different. My career started 17 years ago as a support worker. This experience gives me a wide perspective when decisions are made, always considering how they will affect someone else. I am extremely passionate about my job and my role allows me to implement positive change that benefits all the people that I come across.

What keeps you focused?

Knowing the difference our work makes to those who use our services is what keeps me focused. I work with like minded colleagues who are also passionate about our work, and provide great support to each other. Working full time and being a mum to two young boys' keeps me focused on ensuring I have a good work/life balance.

1 St Georges House, Vernon Gate, Derby DE1 1UQ 01332 378 840

Amanda Falleth

Amanda Falleth - Credit: Archant


Interior Co-ordinator - Milford Care

What's special about your business?

Milford Care was started by my father in 1985 and we've been a family business ever since. We operate a collection of six care homes across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and we specialise in the independence and dignity of each resident we look after. We're very passionate about making people feel cared for, and we do this through our Montessori approach. Residents are included in every decision; from writing their Care Plan to the day to day running of their home - this can range from menu planning to interviewing potential new staff.

What do you love about your job?

I'm so incredibly lucky to work within the industry that I do - it's very rewarding. I work alongside a fantastic team who all share a passion for their work - it allows us to make a real difference to resident's lives. Every day is different which I thrive on.

How do you unwind?

You do become very emotionally involved so it can be hard to wind down and switch off. When I do, I love taking the dog for a walk in the Derbyshire countryside followed by a cheeky glass of wine by the fire.

Milford Care, Springwood Gardens, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1RT 01773 599340

Helen Wathall

Helen Wathall - Credit: Archant


Managing Director - Wathall's Funeral Directors

What's special about your business?

Wathall's is Derby's longest established independent funeral directors and we have gone beyond the remit of the profession to establish Dandelions Bereavement Support. Our practical and emotional support services help people who have lost a loved one to overcome feelings of isolation, despair and loneliness and are free for everyone, whether they are a client of ours or not.

What do you love about your job?

As the fifth generation of my family to head up the company, I am proud to continue the Wathall's legacy of supporting people through difficult times in their lives. This is more than arranging a funeral for a family. It is also helping people to plan for their later life - and death; providing much needed bereavement support and also backing the work of local charities in our communities.

What keeps you focused?

As well as ensuring every family has the best possible service from Wathall's my personal mission is to break down the taboos around death. I encourage people to talk to family and friends about their later life and funeral wishes and to be more open about their feelings and fears whether that is in their future or when grieving the loss of a loved one.

Head office - Macklin Street, Derby; and branches in Alvaston, Ashbourne, Borrowash and Burton-upon-Trent 01332 345268

Laura Ryder

Laura Ryder - Credit: Archant


Wedding & Events Planner - Horsley Lodge

What's special about your business?

Horsley Lodge is a special venue for any event: I actually got married here myself! Everyone is welcome for gatherings of friends, afternoon tea, or lunch overlooking the terrace. I love the fact we are independent and family owned and I've been here for 17 years. Starting as a waitress, I worked up to be the wedding planner. We have a beautiful and unique setting for a wedding and offer a bespoke service. I also look after the other events, and what makes them all special is that we have such a great team to ensure each one is a truly moving and memorable experience.

What do you love about your job?

I love working together with my clients fulfilling all their dreams. For a wedding, that means working closely with them from first visit to last dance, which can be over a period of 18 months. It's the most important day of most people's lives and I find it a privilege to have that responsibility. Every day is different here, Richard and Malcolm Salt are great bosses, and my team are professional yet also fun to be around, and we all work in this beautiful setting. I also like to read all the nice reviews people leave on social media, it makes it all worthwhile.

What's the best piece of business advice you have been given?

My director Richard once said "To listen to the customer, see what they want first, don't assume" and I would always treat others as I want to be treated myself.

Smalley Mill Road. Horsley, Derbyshire DE21 5BL 01332 780838

Tracey Glenn

Tracey Glenn - Credit: Archant


Lettings Director - John German Sales & Lettings

What's special about your business?

We are all about customer service - nothing is too much trouble. For landlords, we are there to offer help and advice on every aspect of lettings and management which these days is fraught with so much compliance and legislation. For our vendor clients, we are with them all the way from valuation advice right through to completion. In all cases helping to find the most suitable tenants and buyers. We are independently owned and recognise our staff are our greatest asset, so we invest heavily in their ongoing training and development, resulting in a happy workplace.

What do you love about your job?

Going out and meeting lovely clients and seeing a wide variety of homes - however, my husband hates it as I come home with lots of ideas for our house!!

What's your best piece of business advice?

Do a job really well the first time - if you cut corners, it will come back to bite you and take more time and effort in the long run. I make sure my clients are fully aware of what they can expect and when and then focus on delivering that service.

10 offices across the Midlands 01332 293493

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