Penny Woodhams Strategic Communications Advisor, Home Office
"We employed Anne to help us develop a challenging and highly sensitive campaign at the Home Office. There is no question about her professional ability as a PR consultant. However, Anne brought much more to the table than her PR skills. Her energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude were infectious. She willingly supported and mentored other members of the team and not only demonstrated strategic vision, but also rolled up her sleeves and got things done."2005
Randall Williams Managing Director, Bowles Outdoor Centre
"You have made a very valuable contribution to the centre in the last year, which we very much appreciate."2003
Leah Gilbert Personnel Manager, British Council
"Anne is an excellent and skilled facilitator with a wealth of knowledge. She is always full of energy and enthusiasm, thereby creating a dynamic and positive environment in workshops, which results in the full involvement of participants.
Her ability to engage well with people from different backgrounds and cultures has been particularly useful within the international context of the British Council.
On a personal level, I have learnt a great deal from Anne's professional and positive approach and have thoroughly enjoyed working with her."2003
Moira Williamson Personnel Manager, Scottish Legal Aid Board
"I was seeking someone with experience and a successful track record in the specific area of flexible working. I wanted someone who would “roll their sleeves up” and do the hard work with us to make our project a success – i.e. real value for money. Anne Dickens gave us all this and exceeded our high expectations.
In particular, I found Anne to be:
- an excellent, relaxed communicator who can immediately strike a rapport with staff at all levels
- a great support to me
- ready to get involved with the work she carries out
- really caring about the client and the quality of work done
- someone not at all phased by conflict - she has great influencing skills and can win round senior people whom themselves like to "win"
- always honest, and direct when appropriate
- a strategic thinker
- skilled at producing internal and external promotional materials; her experience in this area shows.
Our project was therefore, not surprisingly, a real success story."2003
Rhian Bradley Director, Governance Consulting
"As a mentor, Anne creates a sense of real partnership and teamwork. You feel she is beside you, not above you - generous in sharing her knowledge, and providing real stimulus and inspiration. She's a great blend of disciplined professionalism and enthusiastic, energetic commitment. Anne has a gift for creating a supportive space where ideas and concerns can flow freely, and where confidence and courage can be nurtured."2003
Calum Baker Course Director, CRAC Graduate Schools
"I have been fortunate enough to have worked with Anne on several occasions through our joint participation as tutors/trainers in the UK GRAD programme. Anne is, put simply, an inspiration to work with. Her approach is one of strong commitment, professionalism and a willingness to share her broad knowledge and experience. She combines these attributes with energy and enthusiasm and a personal style that provides the perfect environment for learning.
Her coaching style is relaxed, supportive and encouraging and she naturally instils an atmosphere where participants have the confidence to discuss ideas openly and to challenge assumptions and preconceptions. As a colleague, she can be relied upon to come up with creative and innovative approaches to delivering training material. In my experience her contribution to any course is greatly valued by fellow trainers and participants alike."2003
Athena Lamnisos Director, The Forster Company
"Anne has worked for The Forster Company as a freelance communications consultant since 1999 on a number of different campaigns. I have often worked closely with Anne and she has fulfilled a variety of roles.
She wrote a communications strategy to support a major overhaul of Government policy in relation to the provision of supported housing; we also advised the senior executive directing the development and roll out of that new policy. She helped us build the strategy behind a national Government mental health campaign and went on to lead a key element of the campaign in its crucial first six months, including brokering a strategic partnership with the Work Foundation to broaden its impact.
She helped to design and implement a drugs information campaign for excluded young people, including facilitating focus groups and conducting media interviews. She and I worked with a manufacturing company to improve its internal branding and communications, including supporting the Board Directors in addressing company cultural issues affecting communications.
Throughout my time working with Anne, she has demonstrated a number of key qualities.
- She offers a balanced view of issues and can remain objective.
- She is always prepared to share her skills, insights and experiences to benefit a person or project.
- She is prepared to be challenging, to say unpalatable things if necessary and will play devil's advocate.
- Anne will often bring new and other perspectives to problems and issues.
- She is sensitive to the context in which she operates e.g. to existing relationships, to organisational 'politics', to the pressures and practicalities of the environment and/or the team concerned.
- She is flexible in her approach and is able to help deal realistically with any given situation and to come up with 'doable' solutions."2003
Helen Krischock Personnel Manager, Braintree District Council
"Anne's contribution has been fundamental to the success of our work-life balance initiative. Her professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm has been inspirational.
She embodies qualities and values that one does not necessarily expect from consultants in this day and age. We are talking about approach - the ability to identify with the client, to intuitively understand the environment and culture in which they are operating and to deliver accordingly.
Without this understanding little progress would have been made at Braintree."2001
Pamela Taylor Chief Executive, Water UK
"Anne has the ability to step into turbulent circumstances, to instil order, to gain respect and to deliver. Her PR skills are, of course, excellent, but she is able to couple these with HR skills in a unique package."2000
Stuart Bell MP Second Church Estates Commissioner
"Thank you for all your efforts on my behalf which allowed Question Time to go very smoothly. The Speaker took me aside one day after Question Time and said how impossible it was for them to catch me out! Your own efforts and those of your staff made this possible."1999
Philip Mawer Secretary General Archbishops' Council
(now Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards)
"I want to say how very much, not only I personally but the Church as a whole owes to you. We shall miss greatly your energy, your imagination and your sense of humour."1999
Sir Michael Colman Bt First Church Estates Commissioner
"You were very much an integral part of the building process we were engaged in during my time here, and I always felt you understood what I was trying to do. Yours with thanks."1998