WITH a career in the military behind her, Joanna Stanley knows the importance of keeping safe more than most.

But now, with the help of fellow director Paul Harris, she is involved with security of a different kind.

The duo have launched Redbox Security Solutions Ltd, a security and risk management service based in Brunswick Industrial Estate, in Newcastle.

Joanna, who lives in Cramlington, Northumberland, spent six years working for the British Army.

“It was always something I wanted to do” she explains.

“I did some research and talked it through with my family, and decided to bite the bullet.

“It was a really exciting career – I was there for six years and I have really fond memories.

“It is great when we get together again – it is just like it was all those years ago.”

Joanna left the Army in 2006, and spent 10 years doing what she describes as “working the usual jobs”.

It was whilst working for Gateshead passport maker De La Rue that she met her business partner Paul, and the idea to form Red Box came about.

“We first thought of the idea about four years ago and only recently decided to put our plans in action.

“We thought let’s just do it.”

Paul is also a former member of the British Army, having served firstly as an infantry soldier in the Coldstream Guards and secondly as a non-commissioned officer in The Royal Military Police.

“With our military career backgrounds, and our combined knowledge and expertise, we are uniquely placed to advise businesses and individuals about their security requirements” said Joanna.

Redbox Security specialises in assisting businesses and individuals to manage security risks in their workplaces and homes.

The company provides consultancy and analysis, as well as handling sensitive issues and offering in-house guidance on security and risk management issues.

“We realised the security industry didn’t have a professional offering, so we wanted to create a consultancy service.

“This industry is always evolving, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of it.”

Although the firm has only recently launched, Joanna is pleased with how things are progressing.

“It has been going great.

“We have been operating for about two months but it feels like we have been going for a lot longer than that.

“We have been getting our footprint out there. We have got jobs scheduled for after Christmas and we have had lots of interest which is great.”

Joanna is also confident that her friendship with Paul will survive the stresses and strains of running a successful business together.

“It has been great – we have forged a really good friendship and I am glad it has been a successful partnership.

“We bounce off each other and our skill sets really complement each other.”

She believes her secret is an ability to remain relaxed in stressful situations, which she learnt during her time in the military.

“It is all about staying calm and remaining focused, and not letting people see you are getting in a flap.”

Although her Army career may be behind her, Joanna is clearly one for an adrenalin rush, and has set her sights on an even more thrilling adventure.

“I love go-karting so the next step is Formula One.

“I am a huge fan but I have had no time of late to watch the races because I have been so busy with Red Box.”

Her new career may be preventing her following the thrills and spills of motorsport, but Joanna can still expect a life in the fast lane.

Five minutes with Joanna Stanley....

Favourite North-East building and why?

The Baltic in Gateshead – It is an amazing restoration building that has a unique historic presence in the North East and the panoramic views from the rooftop restaurant are spectacular.

What was your first job and how much did you get paid?

My first job after leaving school was on a two year apprentice scheme at IBM, where I trained in all of the departments whilst studying for my BTEC Certificate in Business and Finance - I can’t remember how much I was paid as it was so long ago.

What is the worst job you've had?

Tele-sales canvassing door to door - most of the time people weren’t interested and just slammed the door in my face.

What would you cook for me if I came around for dinner?

I’m not the greatest cook but something that takes minimum prep and can be left in the oven to cook, so something like pulled pork.

What would your superpower be?

Telepathy – to be able to read people’s minds and know what they were really thinking - that would certainly be interesting.

Name four people, dead or alive, who would be at your perfect dinner party. One would definitely be my Dad. He died last year, but he would always tell the funniest stories. Another would be Aiden Turner because he’s great eye candy. The others would be Lady Gaga who I’d ask to sing and also Will Ferrell as he’s hilarious.

Most expensive thing you've bought - other than car or house - and how much?

A pair of Christian Louboutin shoes for £475 Who is the best person to follow on Twitter and why?

The competition - to see what they’re up to.

Favourite book?

The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe - I was captivated by it when I was young and it’s a magical book that can be enjoyed at any age.

When did you last cry?

Probably when I last chopped onions.

What is your greatest achievement?

Joining the Army.

What's the best piece of advice in business you've ever been given?

Always get a second opinion.

Favourite animal and why?

Dogs – they’re loyal and are truly man’s best friend.

Most famous person on your mobile phone?

Picture of Aiden Turner! Does that count?

What was the last band you saw live?


Describe your perfect night in.

Bottle of wine, chocolates and a good film.

In another life I would be... ?

A Formula 1 racing car driver.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Anne Hathaway of course.

What irritates you? Bad drivers.

What's your secret talent?

Staying calm.