PROUD dad Neil Raven welcomed his daughter, the fifth generation of the family, to work at his department store in central Southend.

Hannah Raven, 29, who has a degree in management science, has joined Ravens, in Clifftown Road, which was founded in the 1890s.

Mr Raven, 53, said Hannah was the first woman family member in five generations to join the family business.

He said: “It is a positive thing and I’m very optimistic about the future of the business.”

Hannah, a graduate of Warwick University, worked for the Performing Rights Society which saw her develop skills in managing a team of people in areas such as business development and support. She said: “I actually first started working here in my school holidays when I was 12.

“But when I was Saturday girl age I did work in Debenhams and other similar stores to try to broaden my experience.”

Hannah said she was thrilled to be joining her dad.

She added: “There was never any pressure on me or my twin brothers to join the business.

“But I think I will be bringing a new skill set to the business.

“I admit there’s still a lot for me to learn about the retail business, but one of my short-term aims is to get more sales online.”

“But I do see this as an exciting opportunity to take a family business forward.”