MOTHER-of-three Helen Wright remembers the moment she started her campaign for flexible working.

It was in a local children’s playground near Bicester.

She said: “I was pushing my small children on the swings when I looked around and it suddenly dawned on me I was not alone.

“There was an accountant, a lawyer, a senior director for a big corporate and none of us were working - we were all just standing around in the playground.”

She added: “I thought, ‘Here is a group of people struggling to find flexible opportunities and I know there are businesses struggling to find the talent they need’.”

As a result she set up the 9-2-3 Consultancy, which pairs people who want to work flexible hours with businesses looking to recruit.

Mrs Wright, who lives in Steeple Aston, spent 10 years as a broadcaster for the BBC and ITV.

She was made redundant while pregnant with her first child, now eight and went on to have two more, now aged six and three-and-a-half.

After a few years as a full-time mother she was ready to go back to work but struggled to find a part-time or flexible job.

She said: “I wanted some kind of career I could get my teeth into, so I spread the net wider and looked further afield, including in London.

“I didn’t mind retraining, starting at the bottom or working full time, I just really wanted to get back to the workplace.”

But the roles on offer didn’t pay enough for childcare.”

More than 1,000 people have now signed up to her 9-2-3 agency and candidates include HR and PR executives, lawyers, accountants, administrators and even two professional ballerinas.

She has also started the 9-2-3 Club where candidates can meet regularly to share experiences.

The first event is on November 7 and guest speaker is Sally Dicketts, chief executive of £50m turnover Activate Learning, which runs City of Oxford college.

Yesterday Mrs Wright held a reception at the House of Commons attended by MPs, ministers, business leaders and candidates to highlight the issue.

This was championed by Banbury MP, Victoria Prentis who said: “Having job shared before I became a MP, I am really supportive of any initiative that encourages flexibility in the workplace.”

Research by accountants PWC showed 427,000 female professionals want to return to work, which would boost the economy by £1.7bn.

Mrs Wright is calling for a National Flexible Working day.

Businesses would advertise flexible working roles and candidates encouraged to ask the question about flexible working.

She added: “If we are all asking the questions, then change will happen faster.”