Women in Leadership: Helen from Snugg Yoga & Tank
Helen, founder of Snugg Yoga and senior account manager at Tank.
Through the Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs project*, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access free bespoke, employer-led training, career coaching and advice to up-skill their employees in vocational and high-level technical skills.
NTU offer a free, 3-day course which is designed to help women in SMEs to develop their careers and their capability to manage and lead within their organisations.
Helen, founder of Snugg Yoga and senior account manager at Tank
Helen is a yoga and meditation teacher at Snugg Yoga, a company which she founded in 2019. She is also a senior account manager at Tank, an award-winning PR and digital agency based in Nottingham, as well as being a mum!
Helen has always practiced yoga in its various forms, but it wasn’t until last year when caring for her own mum, Luci, who was terminally ill with cancer, that Helen realised she wanted to use it to help other people.
“My mum was always my hero. She was the kindest, sweetest and most courageous person that I have known – she burned her bra in the 70s – and always encouraged me.
“While caring for her, she asked me to help her go through some yoga, meditation and Qi Gong techniques which would help soothe her.
“From this I carried out my teacher training and started to give classes for fun. When COVID-19 hit I quickly realised how anxious and upset a lot of my friends were feeling in isolation, so I started to offer classes online.
“I have been working with a number of charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, When You Wish Upon a Star, Pandas Foundation UK, and Stonebridge City Farm to provide fun fundraising classes and it was at this point that I started to realise that there was lots of interest out there.
“I offer paid classes alongside free sessions for the NHS and other key workers, and have delivered for up to 35 people at a time, teaching various types of yoga and I would like to see this continue to grow.”
Helen initially found out about NTU’s Women in Leadership offer through her other job at Tank, which has enrolled a number of its staff members on the three-day course.
“The agency is really supportive of our ongoing business development and introduced me to it. I was really excited to be able to learn new leadership and mentoring skills that I could use both within the workplace, and with my own company.
“I went to the induction session to meet the teachers and their enthusiasm really resonated with me. I spoke with Dawn Smitten, an industry skills coach, and we hit it off straight away, so I knew the course was for me.”
Since taking part, the UK has been experiencing lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, so Helen has been focused on applying what she learned on the course to her own business.
“The whole course was fascinating but, for me, the best part about it was the career coaching and meeting the other inspirational women in leadership who were part of my group.
“The coaching in particular has pushed me to think more strategically about my business and how to grow it financially.”
Looking ahead, Helen is already looking to make some changes based on what she learned on the course, and is exploring ways to continue to grow, even with continued restrictions in place.
“I am going to grow my class frequency and I’m talking with a number of charities to help me move closer to my main goal, which is to go back to where it all started and offer yoga and meditation for those in palliative care, as well as offering support to local businesses and their staff.
“However, I also can’t wait to teach classes in the flesh again when we’re allowed out into the great outdoors!”
If you’re also in lockdown and looking for a new activity to pick up, find out more about how you can take part in a Snugg Yoga class by visiting the booking site, or follow Helen on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter @snuggyoga.
Interested in signing up?
The Women in Leadership course is running a number of cohorts throughout 2020. You can register your interest and a member of the team will be in touch to discuss eligibility and suitable dates.
* Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, options are being considered for alternative delivery models, including online sessions. Details will be provided by the team upon receiving your enquiry.
You can also contact us via any of the below channels:
* The Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and is part of the High Level Skills programme. The programme is delivered by NTU as part of the High Level Skills consortium which also includes Derby College, Nottingham College, the University of Derby, and Nottingham City Council.
Supporting social mobility and widening participation
NTU is at the forefront of social mobility. The university recruits a quarter of its home undergraduates from households with a combined income of £15,000 or less, and has an impressive graduate employment rate. The university is a signatory to the Social Mobility Pledge, and is also a co-lead on a national centre to research and develop best practices for universities on how to improve social mobility.
The Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs project is also committed to supporting local people from under-represented groups including women, people with disabilities, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) people, people aged 50 and over, and those who have not had access to traditional educational opportunties. Our Women in Leadership course is a contributing factor towards this.
Notes for editors
- The High Level Skills programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and is made up of two complementary projects – Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs, and GRADS for D2N2.
- The projects have received £2,201,163 (Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs) and £7,360,994 (GRADS for D2N2) of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.
- The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the English European Social Fund programme.
- Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.
- For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.