The Helen North Achieve Programme

Fulfil Your Potential

Join The Helen North Achieve Programme

74% of females over the age of 30 working in animation and vfx in the UK feel that they have or will experience career barriers relating to their gender.*

What is The Helen North Achieve Programme?

The Helen North Achieve Programme is an intensive introduction to strategic career management for women working in VFX and animation.  Hosted by AWUK and supported by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions and with additional support from Escape Studios the programme addresses real challenges and barriers in order to help women fulfil their potential.

Applications are currently closed while we work on planning the next programme. Please join our mailing list and check socials for updates.

Now in its fifth year, the programme is run by acknowledged career development experts, informed by in-depth industry research* with input Louise Hussey, Executive VFX Producer at Industrial Light and Magic and Dara McGarry,  Operations Manager of Feature Animation at DNEG

This year’s Achieve programme will be run as a hybrid model comprising 2 of the workshops in person,  with five online sessions.

The programme will run twice this year.  Spring 2022 aiming at participants in South of England/Wales with in person workshops in London, and Autumn (dates tbd) aiming at North of England & Scotland with in person workshops in Scotland.

The goal of this highly interactive programme is to help participants to help themselves by developing a much greater understanding of how to manage their own careers within a supportive network of like-minded professionals

Anne Akande

Who's it for?

Animated Women are offering the opportunity for 24 of their members (12 women from each sector) to take part in The Helen North Achieve Programme.

We are seeking:

  • 8 women at an early stage in their career;
  • 8 experienced practitioners looking to progress their careers; and
  • 8 senior women who have already achieved a lot but are still seeking to reach their full potential, with a genuine interest in helping less experienced women to build fulfilling careers in their sector.
Chloé Deneuve

Programme Details:

The programme is open to all Animated Women UK members, regardless of career stage, who want to progress within the animation or vfx industries, but don’t currently feel armed to do so effectively.

Programme details can be found here.

Not a member yet? Why not join? It's only £30 per year.

When is it?

The Spring course has been specially timetabled from 5.30-8.30pm, and the 2 x IN PERSON sessions will be at a central London location to enable participants to slot it in around work.

Launch/Foundation Workshop: Wednesday, 27th April. ONLINE
Workshop 1: Wednesday  4th May.   IN PERSON
Workshop 2: Wednesday 18th  May. ONLINE
Workshop 3: Wednesday 8th June. ONLINE
Workshop 4: Thursday 16th  June. ONLINE
Senior Group Presentation Skills workshop: Wednesday 29th June. ONLINE
Workshop 5: Wednesday 6th  July. IN PERSON

Autumn dates for Scotland will be announced in the summer

Click here for full workshop details

How much does it cost?

Thanks to our sponsors, the course costs just:

  • £275 for senior applicants
  • £225 for experienced applicants
  • £150 for early career stage applicants

You can apply for a bursary if you need assistance with fees, childcare or travel.

It is also worth checking with your company HR team as your employer may choose to fund your place as part of your personal development.

How do I apply?

*Successful applicants will be required to register with ScreenSkills on their website before beginning the programme. This allows them to monitor the success and ongoing impact of their work. This account will be private by default and all data entered will only be used anonymously, e.g. for reporting to funders. You can find more information here.


If you have any questions relating to the programme please email

If you have a marketing or press enquiry, please email Carrie Mok.

*AWUK survey 2014/15

Helen North

Helen North

Helen was Career Development Director on the AWUK Board. She spent her early career at Skillset pioneering training programmes across the Creative industries. Her determination to drive for gender equality led her to AWUK.  She became one of the original board members in 2014 and her voice was always a vital, caring and direct contribution to any discussion. Helen was the architect and driving force behind our Achieve Programme, which focuses on career development for women in VFX and Animation, and we are incredibly proud to continue the great work she started in her name.


ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based creative industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success.

escape studios

Escape Studios

From VFX to Game Art, Animation to Motion Graphics, Escape Studios is recognised as a first-class education provider for the creative industries.

We take students with raw talent and shape them into the creative professionals demanded by today’s employers. With courses developed by industry experts, at Escape Studios you learn from the best.

We offer undergraduate degrees in VFX, Animation and Game Art. Plus a range of postgraduate degrees and short courses such as Motion Graphics, Storyboarding and VR. We don’t just love the creative industries, we live and breathe them; our focus is on ensuring all of our students leave studio-ready.

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