The managing director of north-east builders merchants Thompson Building Centres was invited to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister last month.
Anne Ganley was nominated by her local MP to join the select group of people invited to the Community Heroes event at 10 Downing Street to meet Gordon Brown, in recognition of her work for the region’s homeless.
Ganley has always been heavily involved in the community, including providing Christmas gifts to Salvation Army hostels across the region for the last 25 years.
In more recent years this has extended to hospices, residential homes and hospitals on Wearside, Tyneside and in County Durham which annually receive a donation of presents from Thompson’s.
Most recently Ganley has got firmly behind the Brothers In Arms campaign which is aiming to raise around £60,000 to build a new memorial to the Fallen of Wearside.
Thompson’s have given the group free office space and use of all of their facilities along with helping organise a range of fund raising activities.
Ganley said: “It was an amazingly unique experience to meet the Prime Minister who was extremely complimentary about the whole of the North East and who also took the time to talk about my business.
“But I also I had the privilege of talking to Peter Mandelson about the economy and about his speeches about banks and small businesses which I’ve followed very closely.
“There were people from all walks of life, from those who worked for the emergency services to those who had helped out in the recent terrible floods in Cumbria,” she said.
“It was the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m extremely thrilled and honoured to be asked to attend.”