A mother of two from New Buckenham who took the plunge and started her own DNA workshop venture has been chosen as a finalist for a national award.
Dr Mandy Hartley set up the Little Story Telling Company two-and-a-half years ago, and lives in the village with her husband, Jonathan, and two children, Annabelle, 9, and Harry, 6.
It was really frightening to take that step but my family has benefitted from it massivelyDr Mandy Hartley
She had previously worked for 15 years in DNA, her last role as a lab manager for a paternity testing company in Norwich. Her venture sees Dr Hartley teach children as young as four all abut DNA, as well as telling muti-sensory science stories to children under five to explain difficult subjects such as evolution, natural selection, and inheritance to older children.
She has been chosen as a finalist for the mumandworking Business Parent of the Year award, a category for parents who run their own business and are a “shining example” of being able to mix work and family life.
The awards ceremony will take place in London on October 11.
“It became a bit tricky to do a full time job in part time hours, and look after family,” she said.
“I was absolutely terrified (about starting my own business) because work in DNA was all I had known for 15 years.
“It was really frightening to take that step but my family has benefitted from it massively.
“It is a fun and novel and illustrative way to demonstrate these different concepts to children. It is so exciting.”
She continued: “With DNA having an ever increasing impact on our lives it is becoming more important for children to learn about this subject from an early age.
“I have had an amazing journey setting up my business and I am so proud of being in the final for this award. I was absolutely blown away to be nominated.
“More importantly I know through my work I have managed to get children excited about science, helped them understand what DNA is and hopefully inspire some future scientists.”
It looks to be an exciting 2016 for Dr Hartley.
She is also in the process of setting up a genetics workshop for GCSE pupils, with the help of the Sanger Institute in Cambridge.
And Dr Hartley is also waiting to find out if her children’s book, which she describes as an “Enid Blyton-style adventure” which teaches children all about DNA, will be published.
For more information, visit the Little Story Telling Company Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheLittleStoryTellingCompany