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Apply Now: Animated Women UK’s Helen North Achieve Program

The organization’s career development series that supports women in UK’s VFX and animation industries expands with two iterations this year; applications for Spring are due April 11 with application dates for Fall 2022 to be announced.

Animated Women UK is expanding its reach and will be hosting its Helen North Achieve program twice this year. The origination’s objective is to support women in the UK’s VFX and animation industries by employing 5 key aims: mentoring, networking, education, recruitment and showcasing. To date, over 100 women have participated in the program.

The next iteration of the program will occur this Spring and be aimed at participants in South England and Wales with in-person workshops in London. The second offering in Fall 2022 will be aimed at participants in North of England and Scotland with in-person workshops in Scotland. The program, an intensive introduction to strategic career management for women in VFX and animation, addresses challenges that women these industries face, while providing support and tools to overcome the barriers.

The program is run by Jan Armstrong and Marianne O’Connor and is based on in-depth industry research with input from VFX and animation experts including ILM executive VFX producer Louise Hussey and DNEG Animation operations manager Dara McGarry.

“The last two years have been difficult for everyone, which makes the fact that we are able to run The Helen North Program for the fifth time, all the more special,” shared Louise Hussey, co-chair, VFX, Animated Women UK. “At AWUK, we are passionate about our advocacy for women in the VFX and animation industries, and in teaching those women to advocate for themselves. This program is designed to do that by the bucketloads! It is with heartfelt thanks to ScreenSkills, and Escape Studio for their support, and to our truly wonderful training specialists Jan Armstrong and Marianne O'Connor, that we are proud to say Achieve Program 2022 is go!”

“I am so excited that the Achieve program will be coming to Scotland this year,” noted Sueann Rochester, Regional Working Group Chair & Scotland Representative, Animated Women UK. “It's fantastic that Animated Women UK have really championed bringing the program to the nations and regions. The course allows women in animation and VFX to realize their full potential and boosts career development. The network of alumni is also a big plus!”

The Helen North Achieve program is funded by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund, with contributions from UK animation productions. Additional support is provided by Escape Studios.

“The ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund is pleased to continue to support the Achieve program a brilliant initiative that enables women to develop their careers and their networks in the animation and VFX industries," added Abigail Addison, Animation Production Liaison Executive, ScreenSkills.

The deadline for Spring Program applications is April 11 (9am). Fall applications will open later this year. Additional information is available here.

The program will run as a hybrid model with two of the workshops in person and the rest online. The 2020 and 2021 programs were held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Animated Women UK

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is assistant news editor at Animation World Network.