Annalice Argyle once lived life as an addict, experiencing the horrendous lows of drink and drugs together with homelessness and abuse. Last Thursday she was praised as an inspiration in the Tees Businesswomen Awards.
There were tears of joy and emotion as the Tees Valley celebrated the very best of women in business at the third annual awards event, this time held virtually due to the pandemic and government restrictions.
Created by Tees Business and held in association with Northern Skills Group, the awards have come to herald one of the most important events on Teesside’s calendar and are fast becoming synonymous with an outpouring of emotion.
This year, an incredibly strong line-up in the Inspiring Others category saw Annalice triumph over Teesside University’s Professor Jane Turner – runner-up for a second successive year – and Sir Robert McAlpine’s Paula McMahon.
Until 12 years ago, Annalice lived life as an addict, experiencing the horrendous lows of drink, drugs, homelessness and abuse that these issues brought.
An incredibly difficult journey led her to sobriety and en route she began to help other women, finally forming her own charity, The Recovery Advocates and Consultants (TRAC UK) in 2015.
Annalice works tirelessly to empower other women suffering similar issues, encouraging and supporting them to turn their lives around and realise their full potential.
Frans Calje, CEO of category sponsors PD Ports, was delighted to announce Annalice the winner of this hotly contested category.
“I remember looking at Frans’ mouth with this weird sense of calm – I had to focus to see what he was saying,” recalled Annalice.
“Then I thought: ‘Oh my god, he’s saying my name! I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to say, and I don’t think I’ve stopped crying since.
“Ever since I discovered I had been shortlisted for the award, this has been a rollercoaster for me. Talking about my story has to be done to raise awareness, even though it brings back some bad memories.
“I often say beware what you wish for, because all I’ve ever yearned for is a platform to help others, to end the stigma of abuse and to shout that women can and do recover.
“This award will provide that platform, yet part of me thinks ‘Help’, because I’m not used to the attention, and another part wonders why I have won over incredible women like Jane and Paula.
“I’ve never done anything for ego, but I’m just so thrilled that my accomplishments so far have been acknowledged at an important event such as the Tees Businesswomen Awards.”
Ever modest about her amazing achievements in the face of such adversity, Annalice unselfishly accepted the award with a caveat.
“I’d like to accept the award on behalf of all women who are following their own journey to being clean and sober. This award is definitely for them.
“Someone has to be a voice and I acknowledge that may have to be me, but I want to dedicate the award to all the women struggling, to those who have overcome adversity, to women in all stages of recovery – this is OUR award!”