I was born and brought up in Norwich, and studied a B.A. (Honours) in Social Policy and Administration at Leeds before taking a gap year teaching English in Vitoria in northern Spain. Returning to England I trained with Oxfordshire Probation Service to gain experience before taking my Masters degree in Social Work at the London School of Economics.
My chosen career direction was working as a Probation Officer in London, Suffolk and Norfolk. Over a period of nearly 20 years I worked with addictions, counselling, life skills and behavioural change. I thoroughly enjoyed the work and found it very rewarding being able to give people alternative choices and opportunities in their lives.