I’m fortunate to live on the borders of West Yorkshire and close to the wonderful Lancashire city of Manchester. I live with my husband, two cats, amazing neighbours and a lot of sheep. I grew up in East Anglia, studied drama and English in Bristol and lived for many years in London and Essex. These days I have ‘bases’ with very kind friends in North London and Hertfordshire, so I travel between London and Yorkshire quite regularly for work and pleasure.
My career in public relations began in the commercial sector promoting flowers by post, back supports and a computer system I only vaguely understood. So it was with relief that I moved to the voluntary sector where all the issues were about people and much more interesting to promote. I worked for Sense (National Deafblind and Rubella Association), Barnardo’s, and Fullemploy. At British Agencies for Adoption & Fostering I was both media manager and a member of the policy committee and became one of the organisation’s key spokespeople.
Freelance writing and consultancy
After going freelance I worked as a journalist for a range of social care and women’s magazines, and as a copywriter and PR consultant for a range of government and voluntary organisations.
I’m the author of the Control Freak trilogy of novels for teenagers, which tells the story of Holly, a young woman leaving care, and her younger brother Ryan. I’ve has also written four factual books about fostering and leaving care, as well as numerous guides and reports and I’ve ghost written and edited material for other authors.
As an experienced trainer I specialise in helping people learn to give interviews to the media, improve their confidence and develop a range of related communication skills. I’m also very interested in helping people to tap into their confidence through creativity, and I run creative writing workshops for adults, young people and children.
Coaching and facilitation
I am a professionally-trained and accredited person-centred coach, who works with both adults and young people. I have additional skills in Transactional Analysis (TA) and Neuro-linguistics Programming (NLP) which I use to create new insights and helpful I also apply my skills to helping groups to reach helpful outcomes that everyone involved can sign up to – a process widely known as facilitation.
Social care experience
I have almost 30 years experience of working with the social care and voluntary sector, local authorities and government departments, and many organisations working directly with young people in-care and leaving care.