A Wallsend holistic therapist is drumming up extra business after completing free training designed to upskill regional workforces and boost productivity.

Ali Avery, who owns holistic therapy centre Avery’s Angels and uses an African Dgembe drum as part of her reiki healing therapies, has turned her new-found website marketing skills to driving business growth, including extra sales of her holistic treatments.

Trading for six months, Ali Avery, who helps people with a range of learning difficulties to discover their own voice, has seen a 40% increase in trade following the ‘Boost Your Business’ course.

Avery’s Angels is working with a growing number of charities and care providers around the region to provide African drumming sessions and traditional holistic therapies.

This includes work with residents at Siena Court – a centre providing independent supported living and day care services for adults with learning and mental health issues.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur now plans to build on her success and newly-found confidence with a new adult drum group at The Vault Creative Well-Being Centre, where she’s based.

‘Boost Your Business’ is part of a £1m package of training support being rolled out to hundreds of local organisations, as part of the regional skills and enterprise programme, Go>Grow.

Ali, who has a four-year-old daughter, has seen her confidence rocket while tapping into new opportunities off the back of course, which she completed recently.

She said: “The course changed my business for the better. The skills I gained are proving priceless in drumming up extra income, while its given me confidence in my business that I’ve never had before.

“We’re going from strength-to-strength, and I’m really excited about the future and the prospect of expanding the business even further.”

The ‘Boost Your Business’ course provides an insight on understanding social media, producing digital content, measuring the success of digital promotion, and enterprise techniques.

Adam Clemerson, skills project manager for course deliver North East Enterprise Agency Ltd, said: “Ali’s got a unique business model and now armed with the tools, knowledge and confidence, she’s on course for even more success in the coming months.”

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, which manages the Go>Grow programme, said: “This free training programme provides a cost-effective opportunity for ambitious business owners to gain the skills to boost business performance.

“It’s a fantastic initiative, which is helping tens of thousands of people. I’m thrilled that Ali’s business is achieving increased success on the back of her training.”

Go>Grow has the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the North East of England Chamber of Commerce.

Experts in the Go>Grow team will work to develop training that meets individual needs of businesses, or offer those who wouldn’t ordinarily undertake training programmes, the opportunity to access bespoke packages specific to their needs.

A tailor-made programme is then developed and delivered at any of the Go>Grow training provider sites, or within the premises of the individual businesses.