Former Emmerdale actress Tonicha Lawrence has been shortlisted for an award after setting up an acting agency aimed at boosting the confidence of shy and bullied youngsters and championing local talent.
The hardworking mum launched TLA Boutique Management six years ago with just eight students but has seen it go from strength to strength with many of their youngsters appearing on stage and screen.
Tonicha, who starred as Linda Glover in hit Yorkshire soap Emmerdale for three and a half years, set up the company to help children who were being bullied, or lacked self-esteem, believing that drama was the key to developing confidence for the next generation.
Now the glamorous actress, who has already enjoyed a 30-year career in showbusiness, is in the running for a prestigious Sue Ryder Yorkshire Women of Achievement in Business Award.
The inspirational role model, who attended the Carousel School of Dance in Jersey aged two and was one of the youngest actors ever to be offered a place at The London Studio Centre, said: “Having read the candidates and winners in previous years, I’m not hopeful – they are amazing. However, I’m just so honoured to be linked with the event that just being there is enough for me.”
Tonicha was just 16 when she won her first professional TV role, in the hugely popular soap. She went on to work for Hull Truck Theatre company and appeared in several TV series.
On the birth of her third child, she decided to step out of the limelight to work from a different angle within the industry.
The Sue Ryder Awards will be held at the New Dock Hall of the Royal Armouries, Leeds, on June 7.