Since I was little I've always been one to use my imagination, get creative and get stuff done. When I was as young as ten I'd already started re-designing logos and re-imagining brands on Microsoft Paint to keep myself busy. Years later, the technology has certainly changed but that same passion for being busy and creative is as strong as ever.
Over fourteen years I have delivered campaign, communications and compliance support for a number of charities, businesses, community organisations and individuals. From strategy development and advising on organisational structure and processes through to team management and project delivery - I have experience at working at all levels, on things big or small, in teams and on my own.
I've delivered work for Baroness Tessa Jowell, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, the Quality Assurance Agency, National Union of Students, The Keystone Trust, Y Care International and the Helena Kennedy Foundation amongst many others. I have also overseen governance, operations, communications and engagement in a number of organisations in the third sector in the UK.
I was born at the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and grew up in the countryside of South Norfolk – in the end adopting Diss as my hometown (don’t diss Diss etc). 18 years of the county, a few schools later and to be honest I’m disappointed I never met Alan Partridge. My grandad taught me how to play the piano and I spent the majority of my childhood obsessed with music and planes, which in short - hasn't changed a bit many years later.
Alongside designing and doing my studies at school, I helped run a youth music project and often managed to get myself in the local paper, much to the delight of my grandparents, for organising events like carnivals and concerts across South Norfolk. I also started an unhealthy obsession with the Eurovision Song Contest and the Olympic Games, which both continue to this day. Make of that what you will.
I've grown up always wanting to be a pilot and spent the majority of my weekends as a kid, when I wasn't working, addicted to Flight Simulator and building my own virtual airline along with some guys who have become lifelong mates and friends.
After getting some GCSEs and A Levels in Music, Drama and Music Technology from Diss High School, I headed to the University of Hull to study... Politics, Philosophy and Economics. (Obviously, because they really prepared me for my degree..... anyway, take that Michael Gove!) I'd already got a bit political, having joined the Labour Party whilst campaigning against cuts to the local youth service in Norfolk and that activism only grew at university.
I got a bit sidetracked from my studies at uni thanks to student politics and was elected as a student officer at Hull University Union overseeing the governance and campaigns of the union and then later as Chair of Hull University Labour Club - supporting campaigns on campus and in the community. I restored links with trade unions and famous alumni such as Roy Hattersley and Lord Prescott, oversaw one of the largest campaigns in the country against the rise in tuition fees and campaigned to tackle homelessness in Hull and East Riding.
It took me a little while (just a casual 20ish years) to realise I was gay, but I suppose we all get there in the end. Growing up in the country was remote, but I was lucky enough to grow up with, and I owe a lot to, technology, a rather unreliable dial-up internet connection, and some great friends for the advice and support I was able to get at my fingertips and how they have shaped my life and enabled me to deal with coming out.
I then graduated from Hull, the year after, in 2012 with a degree, mates for life and some great memories - ready to see what the rest of the world had to offer.
I helped Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott become Labour’s candidate for the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner election back in 2012. We built an innovative and exciting visual and digital campaign that reached 2,500 Labour Party members across ten UK Parliament constituencies – and went on to communicate with just under one million voters in the election.
Tessa Jowell's campaign to become the first woman elected Mayor of London in 2016 was described in the press as the strongest social media campaign any British politician has yet deployed. I worked with Tessa's team to ensure their website was up to the job of keeping pace with such a high-profile and innovative digital campaign.
Toni Pearce became the first President of the National Union of Students to have come from a Further Education college rather than university in 2013. I worked with Toni and her campaign to prepare for major speeches and hustings in both years of her presidency. Toni won a landslide election with 57.8% of the vote, and further extended her majority with a win of 59% in her re-election bid where she was described in the press as the 'overwhelming favourite' following a hugely successful first term in office as the first woman president since 2008.
I have worked with leading voluntary organisations, politicians, charities, entrepreneurs and communities in the UK to develop their operations and activities and to help them have real impact – specialising in strategy and organisational development, governance and compliance and the delivery of communications and membership services.