Long Melford mental health and wellbeing company earns recognition from former Dragon's Den star Theo Paphitis
Two school nurses, who set up their own business promoting good mental health and wellbeing, have got a big boost from former Dragon’s Den star and retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.
Annie O’Neill and Sue Miller are founders of the Long Melford-based company OM Health and Wellbeing, which specialises in mental health training and education for schools and businesses.
Their two-year-old enterprise was named as one of six weekly winners to get a tweet retweeted by businessman Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers, resulting in a big spike in interest.
The initiative is called Small Business Sunday and Annie and Sue will go on to meet Theo at a event in London in the future.
Annie, who lives in Long Melford, and Sue, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, met while they were both working as school nurses in Sudbury and Haverhill. Between them, they have more than 25 years of combined experience.
Annie is a qualified community nurse, and Sue trained as a children’s nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Annie said: “When Suffolk County Council had a reorganisation in 2017, we made the decision to go and set up our own business.
“It’s gone very well and we have just been signed up to provide our services one day a term at all 24 of the Unity Multi Academy Trust schools in Suffolk.
“The sort of training and services we give are around emotional health, relationships and wellbeing,” said Annie. “Theo has recognised our passion for the work that we do with local schools.”
Annie and Sue recently held a training session for 100 headteachers on wellbeing. They hope to take on more work with businesses in the future to help subsidise support provided to schools.
They are also nursing an ambition to run a big event in Sudbury next July, inviting four girls from every high school in the county to hear from speakers about wellbeing.
“We’d like it to be a festival focussing on empowering girls and we are already in talks with a few partners to get it off the ground,” added Annie.