Annalice Argyle

Charity CEO, Middlesbrough

Sector: Charity

Annalice Argyle is in long term recovery from drug and alcohol misuse and abuse. Annalice set up her charity and community interest company in a world that still shames and stigmatises women especially.  Annalice is a role model and continues to inspire women and girls carrying the message of hope, that no matter what you are going through you too can overcome adversity, reach your goals and be a success in life.  

Where do you call home? 

Middlesbrough. One of the areas where drug deaths are highest. 

Tell us about your role?  

I am CEO of a small grassroots charity and director of a CIC. Role Model, winner of the Inspiring Others Award at the Tees Businesswomen Awards, my charity was also a finalist 2 years running. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

I completed a foundation degree at Sunderland University in counselling and I am an expert by experience. I gained 1 GCSE at grade B I think, I moved schools during secondary and did not enjoy the academic work at my second school and missed my friends.  At my first school, I did manage to get grade 6 on a violin, enjoyed drawing fashion and was in the school’s swimming and cross-country teams.  

I did not have a good relationship with my mother and was unhappy at home. I rebelled and ran away from home, went nightclubbing, and used drink and take drugs to cope. I became a single parent at age 21. I smoked and had my first drink at age 14 then graduated to Class A drugs. I spent decades addicted, suffered violent relationships and homelessness. I lost everything including my respect and self esteem. I thought there was no way out.  

After many years of instability and a chaotic lifestyle I had a stint in rehab and joined the 12 step fellowships and eventually attended local substance misuse services. I finally found recovery in 2009. I worked in the community and prisons and completed lots of training. I had therapy. 

From homeless addict to award winner!  Wow, a life beyond my wildest dreams. 

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

My biggest challenge was overcoming the shame/ addictions/adversity/stigma and starting the road to recovery. There is a lot of shame being a woman in addiction put on us by society as we are supposed to be the caregivers for one and can be looked upon as morally wrong and bad mothers who keep our voices hidden. 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

Maintaining sobriety has to be always at the top of my list of my proud achievements, because without it I would have nothing. Establishing a charity and a community interest company to help others, to make a difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable standard of health and safety support and advice to their clients.  Building bridges with my family and turning my life around when I thought there was no way out. Be humble and ambitious. Be a GOOD Leader who cares about people. Work hard, nothing worth having is easy, there is no easy.  

Do you have any advice to aspiring young females? 

Listen to your inner voice and do what you want to do and what truly makes YOU happy. Believe in yourself, learn to love yourself, be authentic, be resilient. JUST BE YOU and follow your dreams. Do not give up before the miracle happens. You can overcome any adversity; be that role model you want. Break the cycle. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries and to say no. You are enough. You are loved. You are beautiful just the way you are, please believe in yourself and stay strong and focused. 

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

All is well.

Other Stories

Here you can find other stories that you might find interesting

Anne Cowley
Sector: Accountancy After moving around the country regularly while growing up, Anne Cowley is now settled in Yarm and a…
Beverley Goodall
Sector: Accountancy After realising that working for someone else didn’t fulfil her any more, Beverley Goodall took the leap of…
Zoe Christopher
Sector: PR and Marketing Zoe Christopher highlights the struggle of not knowing what industry to enter after graduating from university.…
Erika Marshall
Sector: PR and Marketing After being made redundant from her first job post-university, Erika Marshall used this experience to build…
Rebecca Matthews
Sector: Education Rebecca Matthews always knew that she wanted to work in further education. After having her son at 18,…
Tallitha Walton
Sector: Apprenticeships After being a carer for her dad and her grandmother from the age of 14, Tallitha Walton decided to leave college…