Helen O'Grady Franchise

Introducing Sarah Ibbotson the Principal of Helen O'Grady Preston

25th March 2014

Sarah Ibbotson talks to us about her passion for drama and becoming the Principal of Helen O'Grady Preston

Sarah Ibbotson talks to us about her passion for drama and becoming the Principal of Helen O'Grady Preston.

Sarah Ibbotson - Helen O'Grady PrestonActing has always played a huge part in Sarah’s life; this goes all the way back to the Primary School she attended. Her school was extremely creative and by taking part in the school plays and attending drama club Sarah believes she gained enough confidence and belief in herself to achieve all of her dreams and goals.

Sarah had the travel bug from an early age so, when she was 20, she moved to Chicago as an au pair for an American family where her role was to live with and work for the family for a year and immerse herself in American life. Upon her return to the UK, she was already thinking about her next destination, so her flight to Australia was booked and Sydney was her next temporary home. This is where she first heard of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy as one of the little girls she was looking after attended an Academy class locally. She also spent time in South Africa as a Conservation Volunteer on the Shamwari Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth.

Drama and the effect it has on a person has always been a passion for Sarah so when she finally hung up her travelling boots she sought out the best acting coach in the North West, David Johnson, who ran the critically acclaimed Oldham Theatre Workshop. She spent 5 years with David before moving on to the Manchester School of Acting, one of the most successful independent acting schools in the UK. A vast array of talent has emerged from both these tutors and, over the years, Sarah has starred in the popular soaps: "Coronation Street", "Emmerdale" and "Hollyoaks" and, more recently, she has appeared in Jimmy McGovern’s "The Accused".

Sarah lives with her husband George and her three step-children: Jade, Drew and Taylia along with the family’s latest addition "Charlie", a Guide Dog Puppy receiving basic training from the family before he moves on to more advanced training when he is 1 year old.

She has realised all the drama knowledge she had gained over the years would amount to nothing if she couldn’t share her passion with other children. After researching lots of drama schools in the North West she felt the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy was the only one truly focused on confidence building and so here she is more than 4 years later as Principal and teacher and loving every minute of her job.

Sarah says: "What greater gift can there be than seeing your students gain the confidence and self esteem to go and out and fulfil all of their dreams and goals, just like I did?"

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Helen O'Grady Franchise Case Studies

Beth Daniel - From Cape Town to North Leicestershire
3rd December 2014
Beth Daniel moved back to the UK in 2010 and started her Helen O'Grady academy in North Leicestershire.

Angela Gallagher joins Helen O'Grady in North West Ireland
19th August 2014
Angela Gallagher took over Helen O'Grady in North West Ireland in 2008, after working for the previous Principal for two years.

Helen O'Grady Franchise

Further Information

Franchise Information

BFA Membership Status
UK Years Established
23 years
Current UK Coverage
Franchisee Support Staff
Personal Investment Req.
Total Startup Cost
Home-based business location Home-based business location
Business to consumer services Business to consumer services
Franchisee employs and manages staff Franchisee employs and manages staff

Why Choose Us?

The opportunity to work with children, offering an activity they love in a relaxed, fun-filled environment.

What Our Franchisees Say

Just to watch a five year old express themselves, on stage, for the very first time is so satisfying. I love this business!

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