Anne Ganley meets Gordon Brown.

NE merchant MD goes to Downing Street

Published:  16 December, 2009

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE: A leading North East entrepreneur has had her consistent work for homeless people in the region recognised by the Prime Minister.

Anne Ganley, managing director of Thompson Building Centres was one of a select group of people from around the UK invited to the Community Heroes event at 10 Downing Street last week.

MPs from across the UK invited guests from their constituencies who feel they should be given the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister as a thank-you for their support of their homeless over the festive season.

Along with heading the North East’s leading independent builders’ and plumbers’ merchant, Ms Ganley has always been 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 generosity 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.

She was invited to attend the event by Julie Elliott, who will be standing as parliamentary candidate for Sunderland Central at the next General Election and Wearside MP, Chris Mullin.

“I had been told a great deal about Anne and the work she had done for the Salvation Army over the years and in supporting the local community generally and she seemed the perfect person to invite along,” said Ms Elliott.

“I was delighted when she agreed to attend.”

Most recently Mrs Ganely has backed 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 has given the group free office space and use of all of its facilities along with helping to organise a range of fund raising activities.

“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,” she said.

“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.

“He seemed very gratified at what I had to say and it was a fascinating opportunity to have that discussion with him.”

Ms Ganley said she was “flattered and humbled” to be part of the group that was invited to Downing Street. “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.

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