A former Carlisle hairdresser is cutting out a promising new career for herself as a financial planner.

Sophie McMillan joined Stan Sherlock Associates in the city five years ago as a receptionist after leaving the hairdressing industry.

She quickly progressed to an administrative role supporting the firm’s protection advisers before becoming a general insurance specialist. She also now supervises the firm’s Yorkshire Building Society agency.

The firm is celebrating her success as she has just been approved as a protection adviser, after previously passing her UK financial services, regulation and ethics qualification from the Personal Finance Society, part of the Chartered Insurance Institute Group.

She said: “I’ve really enjoyed advising clients directly about their protection needs, as well as learning more about the regulatory side of the financial services industry.

"With my employers’ support, I’m looking forward to further developing my career and hope to start working towards achieving my qualification to become a mortgage adviser.”

Emma Sherlock, chief operating officer of Stan Sherlock Associates, said: “Sophie has really taken responsibility for developing her career and we were delighted to support her ambition.

"She had already gained a great deal of knowledge and experience with us and becoming an approved protection adviser is another milestone towards a successful long-term career in the financial services industry."