I’m neurodivergent. In my case, autistic, ADHD, Irlen Syndrome with a large dash of Long Covid and other health challenges thrown in for extra spiciness.

Part of having that profile is my love for and ability to navigate complexity – and almost instant boredom if I'm asked to do one thing repetitively (except practising cello scales but that’s another story).

My business life is part of the rich complexity of being Anne.

That's the back story to why I currently trade in three ways. The good news is that I will always direct you towards the most suitable version of me; I don’t expect you to double-guess!

Sometimes people approach me with opportunities that sit within the fuzzy boundaries between the three versions of me. That’s when we can discuss which version of Anne you want. This matters because the version you choose affects insurance, contractual obligations and how your money will be used – which matters (or should!) for your procurement policy, social value profile and corporate social responsibility.


Best known on social media as Welshflier. I’ll do any bits and pieces in my skill set that spark my interest but I don’t take on blocks of work or projects. Think the odd day or hour of work rather than more than four days.

Talk to me if you need to bring on board my lived experience as a co-producer, ally, book reviewer or to hire my brain to help you think through something.

Whatever you pay puts food on the table and a smile on my face. I enjoy helping people succeed and I often have insights or connections that can help you.

My company

Full disclosure, I’m the sole shareholder and I take money as dividend. Despite that, PinkGold arguably creates more public benefit per £ turnover in Wales and globally than most non-profit-distributing organisations I know.* I achieve that through procurement (prioritising people, businesses and enterprises that need a socially-minded client to get established or compete globally/locally), by my employment and outsourcing approach, and through a commitment to making sure at least 10% of profit goes to support change-makers in Northern Uganda.

Work with PinkGold Ltd and you get access to me and a fluid network of associates who I approach on a piece-by-piece basis. Our smallest contract was £60; our largest in our first year of trading was just under £25,000.

Talk to PinkGold for all things qualitative research, public engagement (from consultation to co-creation, from bright idea to completion), and ‘knowledge mobilisation’ (that’s usually academic-speak for getting academic knowledge into use in the world beyond academia; occasionally it means two-way conversations where valuable community information and knowledge informs and enlightens the academic world.)

*We are developing a tool to capture public benefit from procurement, outsourcing, ways of working and use of profit that aligns with the Well-being of Future Generations Act’s wellbeing goals and ways of working. Once we have our first year’s money accounts, we will produce our first social accounts using this tool.


NeuDICE CIC, is a social enterprise founded by three of us across the UK and with a growing community. NeuDICE CIC is where I am one of a team of associates delivering training, workshops, mentoring, consultancy, projects and all things neurodivergent and/or inclusive entrepreneurship.

If you approach me about entrepreneurship, business start-up or personal mentoring/coaching, I’ll direct you to NeuDICE CIC. It may still be me doing most of the work if I’m the best person for the job, but NeuDICE has a wealth of members whose skills complement or overlap mine. NeuDICE relishes the challenge of sitting, listening, and helping you design a project, but we also deliver a few off-the-shelf packages. In NeuDICE style, even the off-the-shelf are individually customised.

By buying from us, your money not only buys excellence. You also support the development of a community of neurodivergent entrepreneurs that focuses as much on people facing immense additional challenges as those most able to operate in the business world.

Take-away message - and a guarantee

So there you have it. When you sound me out, whichever email or contacts you use, here’s the Anne that you will get:

And – as always – my guarantee is that if I know someone who can do it better, I’ll connect you rather than nab the job for myself just for the money. Life is too short to waste your time, my time and your money that way.

Best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago.

Second best time? Today.

Best time to plan research impact? Before you start planning the research.

Second best time? Now.

Once your topic, question and methods are locked in, you may already have missed opportunities for ground-breaking impact. So, while it’s never too late to start planning for impact, everyone benefits when the first two questions are: Why are we doing research? What do we hope to change through our research?

PinkGold Ltd would love to guide you in shaping and channelling research with real world impact in mind. At each stage of the research process, the potential for impact is being shaped and changed. Leave thinking about impact too late and most of the doors to impact have closed.

Even the best-shaped research will fail to live up to its impact potential if the outputs are locked away in filing cabinets, sat on shelves or use language no-one outside the university can understand.

This is where it gets interesting. How do we communicate for impact? Non-traditional outputs certainly play a role. This is being recognised in the REF28 requirement for at least 5% of submissions to be non-traditional outputs.

Over August, PinkGold will be reflecting and co-designing a suite of services to support anyone who needs to brush up on their planning for impact. Whether you need workshops in how to plan for impact or hands-on support to plan and co-create non-traditional outputs, we will have you covered.

If you want to be on our early birds list, fill out the contact form. The Early Birds list will get a chance to see and book our new services a week before we advertise publicly.

Winner of Bangor University’s Vice Chancellor Award for Research Impact Planning, 2015

Alex our Intern sitting at the desk ready for work.
Alex our intern ready for work.

Hi everyone! I have been undertaking a marketing internship with PinkGold, owned by Anne Collis, and Barod CIC, co-owned by Anne’s husband Bryan. I have a BSc in Business Management and an MSc in Strategic Marketing, in which I achieved a First and a Distinction respectively. I am neurodivergent, with diagnosed autism, and suspected dyspraxia and ADHD.

I very much enjoyed working with PinkGold as it has given me an opportunity to utilise the skills I learnt on my Masters in an autonomous but supportive environment. Due to my neurodivergence, I often struggle to follow instructions, particularly when delivered verbally, but Anne and her colleagues deliver them very clearly and patiently, in a way that allows me to understand them. However, I do appreciate that developing my independent working skills would not go amiss. Therefore, I have been trying to be more of a self-starter, and not to ask for clarification unless I really need it. I hope that by the end of this internship, I will have mastered this skill. This will prepare me for subsequent roles where there is likely to be less support available, particularly if I decide to work for a large, multinational organisation. With Anne’s services centred around knowledge mobilisation and public engagement, this has allowed me to learn about an area that I was not previously familiar with. As I have good research skills, this perfectly played to my strengths, while allowing me to use my knowledge to develop a tailored marketing plan.

I have also developed my Excel skills while on this placement. With Anne often looking for me to compile information I have researched in a database, I have used this frequently, and would now feel confident using it on a more regular basis in future positions. As Excel is fundamental to most contemporary positions, I am very pleased about this, and it is a skill I can promote at interviews. I am also grateful that PinkGold has been able to take into account my neurodivergent needs in this placement. For instance, she has allowed me time each day for ‘’facilitating productivity’’, which is time spent undertaking activities that do not look like work, but are fundamental for me to perform at my maximum. This might involve going for a walk, for example. I believe this has been essential in helping me to perform at my best, as it allows me to burn off excess energy and give me that dopamine hit, which I am lacking due to my ADHD.

Anne has also allowed me to use my working hours for self-development, such as working on my CV, applying for jobs, and attending job interviews. This has allowed me to prepare for life after PinkGold, which I am grateful to Anne for allowing me to do, as I would not otherwise have had enough time to plan my next steps. This self-reflection time and the advice I have been given throughout my internship has made me realise that I need to be applying for roles that are pitched to my level, and have training and development opportunities. This will challenge me and allow me to learn new skills, without having
unrealistic expectations of my abilities.

I have enjoyed the ability to work remotely. Due to my neurodivergence, working in an office has been challenging at times in the past, so I am glad that PinkGold has offered me the chance to work remotely. This has helped to maintain my productivity, which I believed I would have been more difficult in a busy office environment, in which there are plenty of distractions. While my productivity could still improve further, I have implemented some strategies which could improve this. For instance, using noise-reducing headphones.

Overall, I have had a fantastic experience at PinkGold, and I am grateful to Anne for giving me the opportunity to develop a marketing strategy for her organisation. I am also pleased that I have worked for an organisation which aims to empower neurodivergent individuals, and I believe that if more did so, they would be a lot more innovative. Though my confidence was low when I started the role, it has boosted my confidence again, which will stand me in good stead to succeed in my next position.

Public consultations strive to make policies more effective. They aim to listen to and implement the public’s views. But do they? The respondents to public consultations tend to lack diversity. Consultations often fail to enable broad stakeholder participation. Stakeholders with similar preferences or expertise, known as ‘’the usual suspects’’ (Collis, 2021), tend to be invited to public consultations.

The views of some people are often overlooked. Those who ‘’look good, smell good, drive fancy cars and speak the same language that the bureaucrats and the policy-makers speak’’ tend to be favoured (Jayaraman, 2013). Policymakers feel comfortable with this type of person, even if their views clash. This highlights a number of issues with public consultations:

  1. Consultation documents are often unconcise and overly jargonistic. People most forthcoming in engagement events may not reflect the full range of views on a topic. They will only give the strongest views on a subject. This is most likely when a standard list of consultees is over-relied on, or a random sampling method is used. Key stakeholders are excluded, while others receive irrelevant consultation documentation.
  2. Excessive bureaucracy is involved in signing up for public consultations. Participants are usually required to obtain a username or a password. This can be time-consuming and frustrating when those are not to hand. It also completely excludes those without internet access.
  3. Communities often receive a lack of feedback from events. They don’t receive a comprehensive record of what was said, what happened to their suggestions, and a record of decisions reached. This will reduce their motivation to engage in subsequent public consultations.
  4. Disabled people are also excluded from public consultations for a variety of reasons. This might be due to inaccessible venues, inadequate public transport, and lack of internet access. Excessive jargon in public consultation documents can exclude anyone. However, this disproportionately affects disabled people with cognitive impairments. Exclusion of disabled people is problematic as they have often lived experience.
  5. The timings of public consultation events can also be a barrier to attendance. Older people may be unwilling or less able to attend after dark, due to tiredness or safety concerns. Working people may struggle to attend during the day on a weekday. Parents of young children may find early mornings and early evenings unsuitable.

Public consultations consistently often involve people with the most time to respond, and have particularly strong views. If they are to attract an audience which represents the full range of views, then organisations need to take steps to improve accessibility.

Watch this space for some solutions!

Blog written by Alex Markovits as part of his internship at PinkGold Ltd, via the Swansea University Graduate Support Programme. Alex has a Masters with Distinction in Strategic Marketing and is available from April to join project teams to provide research support.

Reference list

Collis, A. (2021). Not Just the Usual Suspects: Designing a New Method for Public Consultation. Bangor University (United Kingdom). Microsoft Word - A Collis Not Just The Usual Suspects (bangor.ac.uk)
Jayaraman, N. (2013). No Public in Public Consultations. In Coelho, K., Kamath, L. and Vijayabaskar, M. (Eds.) Participolis (pp. 302-305). Routledge India. No Public

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