About Helen Monks Takhar

freelance copywriter image

You can find out all about my work history in the summary below (one of my pet hates is when I click on ‘About’ and find vague or patchy background) or go to my LinkedIn profile for more.

I graduated from Cambridge in 1997 and I’ve been writing professionally since 1999.

I’m based in North London, but travel to wherever my clients are based to understand their businesses and requirements.

I genuinely enjoy getting under the skin of what my clients and editors need, their specific tone of voice and overall proposition.

I’m married with two children and am currently completing my fourth novel (might this one find the right publisher?).

I’m always happy to have a general chat about what you might be looking for. Drop me a line at helen@helenmonkstakhar.co.uk if you’d like to arrange.

Helen Monks Takhar summary work history

2016 – present: Freelance copywriter/editor/journalist

  • Financial writer and regular contributor to The Spectator
  • Lifestyle writer, working with clients including prime London estate agent Dexters 
  • Food writer, working with national retailers including McColl’s Retail Group
  • Freelance magazine editor working with print design agencies and clients direct
  • SEO copywriter helping small businesses increase traffic and boost conversions

2009 – 2016: NEST (National Employment Savings Trust)

2012 – 2016: Investment Proposition Manager

  • Responsible for developing NEST’s award-winning investment proposition messages, drafting and editing persuasive multi-channel content including web, social and video
  • Led on a content update of NEST’s investment web content, in line with SEO and web writing best practice, working closely with Digital Team
  • Ghost wrote press articles and paid-for content, drafted and edited web copy and reports
  • Working with multiple internal and external stakeholders to deliver aligned messages and evaluate the effectiveness of communication campaigns
  • Led on the internal communications function for the Investment Team

2011 – 2012: Media Manager

Ghost wrote articles for trade and national press and was responsible for proactive and reactive trade and national media handling

2009 – 2011: Writer/Editor

Wrote and edited press articles, web copy, marketing literature and video scripts

2003 – 2009: Freelance journalist/editor/communications consultant

Wrote finance and consumer features for The Times, The Observer, The Independent, The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph and delivered on larger projects:

2003 – 2009: Editor, Wordwide Communications (now The Ink Yard), London

Edited a range of bank and building society customer magazines and luxury B2B publications.

2007: Communications Consultant, Help the Aged, London (now Age UK)

Researched and wrote the launch report for a national campaign

2006 – 2007: Media Officer, Shelter

During my period of predominant self-employment, I also worked in Shelter’s busy press office. I wrote releases and articles, devised media plans for national and regional campaigns. I was also responsible for proactive and reactive media handling and briefing spokespeople for national and regional TV and radio interviews.

2003: Money Writer, The Sunday Times

Wrote personal finance features for the Money section

2001 – 2002: Personal finance writer, Associated New Media

Wrote news and features for Thisismoney.co.uk and the Evening Standard

1999 – 2001: Deputy News Editor/Pensions Reporter, Money Marketing

Sourced and wrote news stories and features on the pensions industry, plus edited copy

Education

1994 – 1997: Churchill College, Cambridge University

BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology, 2:1