I was thrilled and honoured to be asked to be a contributor to the Taking Yourself Seriously Project and jumped at the chance as I recognised it is a fantastic project that will derive benefit for our communities.
My experience and career trajectory to date has taken me on a range of journeys that have included my coming from Dublin to the UK to live in Moss Side in Manchester before an early move to Wythenshawe. I worked in the voluntary and community sector in both Manchester and Sheffield, working in very disadvantaged and stigmatised estates, following which I worked in children and family services, and took over leading Pitsmoor Adventure Playground in the early 1990’s, a time of great challenge on all fronts. Since then I have been a lead in statutory services, delivering multiagency approaches to addressing community safety, encompassing serious organised youth crime, guns and gangs, youth opportunities and positive activities. My roles over these areas have been in direct service provision, training and development, policy and strategy and advising members of parliament and local politicians, as well as local and national government, and other public authorities in a range of arenas.
I am a graduate play worker and did my MEd at Birmingham City University, as well as my PGCE and my NPQICL (Head teacher equivalent qualification).
My first working love, in more recent years has lured me back to my community roots due to the threatened closure of the vital Pitsmoor Adventure Playground and other local community services, I have reverted back to my play work days leading once more Pitsmoor Adventure Playground, a place where I have spent one fifth of my life in, supporting children’s and young people’s right to have access to quality play and other life experiences and to enable me to facilitating and secure community cohesion, through my working cooperatively and collaboratively with a superb team and a diverse range of top notch partners.
I am really looking forward to meeting everyone in the Taking Yourself Seriously Project and all we can learn and achieve together.