Chair of Trustees
I grew up in Surrey, but I've lived in the High Peak for 17 years and really love the area and the friendly people. I started volunteering for the Grapevine in 2016 and in February 2017 also became chair of the trustees. The Grapevine is a fantastic place - l feel very lucky to be part of such a welcoming and supportive group of people. Life can get really stressful and difficult and we often have little time to spare for each other. It's hugely important that we all make time to care for ourselves and try to support each other when life gets tough. I do hope you'll come and visit us!
I work as a researcher in social care - working with people who have alcohol and drug problems and other difficulties to find out what support would make their lives better. In the past I've also worked or volunteered for Nacro, Women's Aid and Blythe House hospice.
I have a partner, two children (aged 15 and 12) and a dog: a lurcher called Luna. Luna is named after a character in the Harry Potter films - I'm a huge fan of those stories and can't wait for the next Fantastic Beasts film to come out. I'm also very interested in gardening, mindfulness, yoga and travelling to new places.
I was born in Ashton Under Lyne before my parents moved to the Channel Islands. I grew up in St Helier, Jersey, moving back to the mainland when I was 18.
I moved to the High Peak soon after arriving and I have settled here.
In the past I have modelled, sold clothing and ran my own shop where I serviced and repaired Dyson vacuum cleaners as Dyson approved engineer.
I am really excited and privileged to have the opportunity of being elected to the board of Trustees, I understand only too well the needs of Grapevine users and that experience will help in my role as a Trustee.
Having worked for 26 years as a Researcher for BBC Religion & Ethics, I decided the time was right to take a career break! I am now a Part Time Theology student and a very happy volunteer at Grapevine. I have always had an interest in how we can create a more inclusive society, and have been humbled and inspired by the community of Grapevine - a community of hugely diverse people who provide a place of acceptance, support and friendship for anyone who walks through the door.
Prior to joining Grapevine I have volunteered in different areas: As a Mentor to a teenager in the care system (an excuse to indulge my own inner child and do lots of fun things); an Advocate and Befriender for Age UK (involving taking a delightful gent in his 90s for a weekly fish and chips supper and a gossip); as a penfriend to a man on Death Row in America for 20 years; and I've worked on a soup run for homeless people (in my younger days, before I became pathetic about being out in the cold...!)
I'm a proud Geordie though I've been in exile in the North West for 30 years! In my spare time, I can be spotted, puce-faced and gasping-for-breath, jogging around Buxton in an attempt to stave off middle-age spread; and I love films and drama - I help run a monthly Film Night where we watch a film then chat about the thorny themes it raises. I love living in Buxton – it’s small enough to get to know people. You can't walk into Buxton without bumping into someone from Grapevine, and I love that!
I’m a Londoner in origin, have lived in Buxton since 2000, before that Glossop and was chairperson of the Grapevine when it first became a charity in 2003. I’ve recently got back involved. In the past I worked as a researcher, youth worker and teacher. More recently I’ve worked with people who have problems with drugs.
I also lead creative and therapeutic writing groups - including one at the Grapevine - and help organise a monthly open mic session in Buxton, ‘Spoken Words’, where people can read out their own poetry and short stories. I believe a ‘collective depression’ that currently exists in our country – and many other places too - and that by speaking out, hearing each other and working together we can create a better, kinder and more equal and humane society.
I have recently moved back up to this beautiful part of the country after a few years spent on the South coast, and I’m very pleased to have taking on the role of Project co-ordinator at The Grapevine.
Having spent 20 years working within both the education and charity sector, I have worked for a wide range of organisations including Universities, local authorities and independent charities. In this time I have also gained qualifications in Counselling, Neuro Linguistic Programming and a range of therapeutic therapies. As well as a degree in Environmental Science.
My love of the environment extends to my hobbies, of walking, gardening and cycling.
I became the treasurer at the Grapevine in August 2017. Previously, I worked at the Source Coffee Shop, a Community Interest Company that is linked to Buxton Church in the Peak, as Finance Director and Trustee. I also worked as a barista when needed!
Other financial experience includes preparing the books for a portfolio of private and social housing properties, undertaking a bookkeeping course prior to my work at the Source, acting as Financial Power of Attorney for family members and budgeting for my single-parent family. I also volunteered for the charity Christians Against Poverty as a debt coach.
I’m a qualified primary teacher but have worked in further education tutoring and assessing adults and families in Childcare, Parenting, Homework, Arts and Crafts, Science and Creative Writing to name a few. I’ve also tutored children in Maths, English and French.
Project Support Worker
I have recently moved from Norfolk to the Peak District travelling from the flattest area of the country to the hilliest. A few weeks ago, I lived on the coast and now live in an area that is furthest away from the sea!
I like change and am very much looking forward to meeting new people, discovering new places and becoming part of the Grapevine team.
Infamous for being a technological dinosaur I like reading and film and am lately trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle so am enjoying the Park Walks on Wednesdays.