Animated Women UK Doubles Up on Achieve Programs

Animated Women UK, the organization supporting women in the U.K.’s VFX and animation industries, will be hosting its highly acclaimed Helen North Achieve Programme twice in a single year for the first time. The goal of this highly interactive program is to ‘help participants to help themselves’ by developing a greater understanding of how to manage their own careers within a supportive network of like-minded professionals.

This year, the program will be run as a hybrid model with two of the workshops in person and the rest online. Previously in 2020 and 2021, Achieve was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The last two years have been difficult for everyone, which makes the fact that we are able to run The Helen North Programme for the fifth time, all the more special,” said 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 Programme 2022 is go!”

The first program will be held in Spring 2022, aimed at participants in South England and Wales, with in-person workshops in London. The second program will be run in Autumn and aimed at the North of England and Scotland with in-person workshops in Scotland. The deadline for Spring applications is 9 a.m. GMT on Monday, April 11. Autumn applications will open later this year.

“I am so excited that the Achieve Programme will be coming to Scotland this year,” said Sueann Rochester, AWUK’s Regional Working Group Chair & Scotland Representative. “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!“

Now in its fifth year, the Helen North Achieve Programme is an intensive introduction to strategic career management for women in VFX and animation. Funded by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund, with contributions from U.K. animation productions and with additional support from Escape Studios, the program addresses real challenges and barriers in order to help women fulfill their potential.

Over 100 women have already participated in Achieve, which is run by Jan Armstrong and Marianne O’Connor, and informed by in-depth industry research with input from renowned VFX and animation experts including Louise Hussey, Executive VFX Producer at Industrial Light & Magic, and Dara McGarry, Operations Manager at DNEG Animation.

“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,” commented Abigail Addison, Animation Production Liaison Executive, ScreenSkills.

Learn more and apply to Achieve at





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