Founder of West Sussex charity tells empowering story of survival

The empowering story of a Littlehampton woman who has overcome traumatic events in her life will be told to raise money for her charity, The Juno Project.

Ali Golds was chosen by The Independent as one of 20 female groundbreakers of 2017, having survived abuse and set up her charity to work with vulnerable women and teenage girls.

Ali Golds has channelled negative experiences into positive achievement and his now helping vulnerable girls in schools across West Sussex. Picture: Jerry Syder

Ali Golds has channelled negative experiences into positive achievement and his now helping vulnerable girls in schools across West Sussex. Picture: Jerry Syder

She will be telling her story at Bailiffscourt Hotel in Climping on Monday, February 24, at 7.30pm, to raise money for The Juno Project. Tickets are £25.

Katie Shephard, charity manager, said: “Ali will be holding an evening to share her tragic story but inspire people as to how she came to be a strategist, best-selling author and motivational speaker.

“The Juno Project is about empowering girls and showing them their self worth and finding self esteem. We teach them employability skills and focus on healthy relationships in a programme called This is Me.”

Ali is an author, a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker, encouraging people to stop punishing themselves.

She said: “I’ve been at the top of my game and I’ve been in the gutter. I’ve survived abuse, a spell in a women’s refuge, an attempt on my life and a terrible marriage breakdown.

“I’ve had everything and I’ve lost everything. And the most powerful lesson I learned was that despite my challenges, despite my hurt and anger, despite being on the floor, I could still be and do what I wanted to be and do – if I started to like myself.”

Ali founded The Juno Project in Littlehampton in January 2012 but relaunched it in 2016, when the pilot project worked with three pupil referral units, in Littlehampton, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath. The This is Me programme has since been rolled out to secondary schools in West Sussex, to empower vulnerable teenage girls to overcome the challenges they face and go on to achieve a happy, fulfilling life.

As a growth coach for female business founders, Ali wrote How To Be Your Own Boss as a Single Mum and 88 Ways To Make More Money in Your Business.

She was born in Worthing and attended Gaisford High School for Girls. She left school when she was 16 with few qualifications, married at 19 and had two children but was divorced at 25 and as a single mum, faced bankruptcy.

Ali married her second husband in 1997 and had a third child. They had what she describes as ‘the perfect life’, living in Arundel but it ended in the divorce in 2004 and she said she lost everything.

Picking herself up again, she moved to Devon to do a PGCE teaching qualification and won an award from the University of Exeter. However, she ended up in a women’s refuge for a month to escape a partner.

Ali moved to Littlehampton in 2010 and in 2011, and started helping young people by teaching them about business. She became lead adviser to Lord Young for his report Enterprise for All, which resulted in a number of changes to education.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be going directly to The Juno Project. Visit www.thejunoproject.co.uk for more information on the charity and www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/power-up-in-2020-tickets-88519525283 to book.