Madeleine France – Founder & Director
Founder & Director of Blossom Training and Development CIC.
My story of strength and resilience goes back many years to my childhood, born and raised in a in Wakefield in a small village of Kirkthorpe of which I can talk all day of my loving family who raised me to be who and whatever I chose to be.
I can share endless stories of childhood adventures, experiences and friendships.
I’m Madeleine France the founder and managing director of award-winning Blossom Training and Director CIC.
Blossom Self Defence actually originated 5 years ago in 2017 when I set up a woman’s only self-defence class. After finding the strength in 2016 to leave a domestic violence relationship. Friends and clients from my beauty business of 22 years asked how I found the courage and strength to do so. Many after hearing how I discovered the strength and courage within myself through my martial arts and new found fitness said they had a desire to learn how to defend themselves, but didn’t feel comfortable taking part in a martial arts or combat style class. This class was and is an inclusive community of diverse women working together and supporting each other in their own development.
Then COVID happened! A single mum of a teenage son, found myself excluded during lockdown. 3 jobs: beautician, martial arts instructor and a positive handling and therapeutic holding instructor in schools for React UK and I fell through every crack in the government support. This left me with financial worries and poor mental health through the fear and anxiety that I would lose everything my business, home, but ultimately my son needed me and this affected him too. My new partner helped financially support both me and my son, as kind and supporting as this was, this for me was demoralising, while all 3 businesses were forced to stay closed.
With the determination to better my mental health I reached out to my doctor, family and friends. One friend Rachael Allen also a member from my blossom class walked for miles, talked and drank copious amounts of coffee with me. Listening to my rants and moans, but picked up on my desire to deliver self-defence to more than my Monday nights class. With ever growing awareness of violence against women and girls, domestic violence increased by 25% during lockdown, as high profile cases Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa hit the headlines adding fuel to the burning desire to help keep women and girls safe.
Blossom Training and Development was established delivering our first full day self defence course in August 2021 up to date we have had over 1300 delegates. Rachael and I are aligned in our passion and beliefs to offer a safe and inclusive environment for all ages to learn and develop where everyone is welcomed with opened arms. Our company and training content has been built based on personal experience, our success comes from our desire to influence change and promote positives outcomes through effective education and training. We guarantee our delegates will leave feeling much more confident, resilient, courageous and feeling empowered.
In our first year we were awarded Start-up Award National Series Rising Star award for Yorkshire Humberside and North East England. We have proudly collaborated with other female led business to deliver the empower programme on behalf of Wakefield Council to encourage and empower women and girls to use parks and outdoors spaces. We’re currently delivering with Evergreen Active a fun free boxercise class with self-protection techniques in Eastmoor for the Safer communities fund for Tracy Brabin West Yorkshire Mayor.
We have had funding from Haribo happiness fund and Nova so currently all our day courses are being delivered for FREE as they are fully funded.
I feel I would be a good community champion as I accept life doesn’t always go as planned, but my positive mind-set and passion to influence change through training and education to give us safer inclusive and empowered communities.
Sectors worked in and routes taken:
Education & Training
3rd Dan Martial Arts Instructor Adult and Children
ReactUk Instructor- supply and instruction in the following disciplines:
Self Defence Instructor
Hair and Beauty – Personal Care Industry
Salon Owner, Manager and Beautician.