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Woman’s charity founder has big plans after MBE recognition

PUBLISHED: 13:36 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:03 09 January 2020

A businesswoman-turned-charity leader made an MBE for her work to help transform the lives of women has said the award will help inspire expansion plans in 2020.

Bridget McIntyre, a former UK chief executive of Royal Sun Alliance, at a time when only a handful of women were FTSE100 company directors, set up Dream On, a social enterprise in 2010 to help women be the best they could be, in whatever area of life they wanted to make their mark.

She went on to found related charity Blossom in 2013 that aims to support women in setting up new businesses or in the ongoing challenges of running their own business.

The Eye-based charity has since had enormous success in turning around the work and personal lives of women and teenage girls across East Anglia through coaching and mentoring.

Being made an MBE for her services to women, Bridget McIntyre, 58, who lives at Thorndon, near Eye, said: "I'm so excited that the work we do is being recognised nationally. We have had a fantastic 2019, especially for fundraising, which helps enable us to do more work."

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2019 saw the charity break a Guinness World Record for the longest fashion show raising £24,000 from an event that featured 1,080 outfits.

Mrs McIntyre plans to expand The Blossom Charity's services to men for the very first time in 2020.

She is also starting the Deserving Women project to help rebuild the confidence and self-esteem of women who have undergone cancer treatment.

Despite her successful corporate career, which has also included being a non-executive director of Adnams and Saga, she says the stories of many of the women and girls helped could have been her story.

"If someone had said to my teachers, friends or parents when I left school that I would become the CEO of an insurance company and be one of only 16 women to be a FTSE 100 executive director they all would have laughed," she said.

"I was not a top student or achiever at school. I didn't discover my passion until I left the academic world and joined the world of business."

She added: "I've been very fortunate in my life and had a great career - and a lot of that is to do with confidence. I see so many people low on confidence and think: 'This is what I want to help give to people.'"

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