I grew up in West Sussex, in a huge Irish working class family. Educationally, I was a late developer. I left school at 16 and went to work for the NHS, and then later joined the civil service where I worked for over 20 years.
I worked hard and was promoted to a senior manager level, before leaving to become a service development manager at Havant Borough Council, for the environmental services directorate which included housing, building control, planning and environmental health.
I am divorced with two adult sons. I moved to Shetland in 2003 and studied full time for a degree in Cultural Studies (Highlands & Islands). After that I studied for a Masters in Professional Writing.
I am currently the office manager for Arch Henderson LLP, a civil and structural engineering company, where I have worked for 12 years.
In 2017, I became the clerk to Lerwick Community Council, a role which I really enjoy as it involves such a wide variety of duties and has helped develop my understanding of what is important to Lerwick. I particularly enjoy the annual Loot for Lerwick events where local groups are given the chance to bid for funding.
I am currently the vice commodore of Lerwick Boating Club. During the summer months I spend as much time as I can in a yoal, either training with my team or competing in regattas.
In my spare time I enjoy writing and reading. I am trying not to be so much of a bookworm, which is how I came to take up rowing as a hobby. Sport is something that Shetland does so well, along with music, textiles and art; all things that need promoting and protecting.
I believe that I have the right combination of experience, energy and commitment to the community. I am passionate about Shetland being the best place to live, study, work and raise a family. However, with the current political situation and external pressures such as climate change we have some tough challenges ahead, both nationally and at a local level.
The issues I feel strongly about affect all of us in Shetland. We need affordable housing for everyone, whether renting or buying. We need a good and genuinely affordable transport system for locals and visitors.
And we need good access to health and social care when we need it and an education system that supports our children and adult learners to achieve what they need to succeed.
All of these issues are important if we want to retain the population or to increase the number of people who want to live here, which is essential if we are to maintain or improve the standard of living we enjoy.
We also need to be creative about how we solve the climate change which will involve being proactive about reducing our carbon footprint. 500 words is not enough room to get my message across, so please get in touch for more information.