I am the current CEO at Basis Yorkshire, who have been working with sex working women, sexual exploitation survivors, and sexually exploited children for nearly 30 years. Basis is a GSK Kings Fund Award winning organisation for its positive impact on community health. In my role, I work in partnership with statutory and third sector agencies on issues relating to sex work, sexual exploitation as well as child sexual exploitation and abuse. This involves work with staff and service users, partners and our Board of Trustees to promote the safety and wellbeing of the people we work with, tackling stigma and discrimination and work on changing systems which often prevent access to services and support.
During my career I have worked predominantly in the voluntary sector, managing projects to support some of the most vulnerable women, young people and children in society. I am passionate about enabling people to get the support they deserve to improve their lives and working to improve systems to ensure equality of access to services. From starting as a numeracy and literacy teacher for adults to working with Leeds Women’s Aid including as Deputy Manager of a Refuge to becoming a Housing Support manager for young people many of whom care leavers, young offenders or otherwise homeless, social justice has been a key theme throughout my working life. I joined Basis in 2016 as Operations Manager and have been very honoured to work with an amazing team of staff and volunteers to provide outstanding support for sex workers and young people at risk of or experiencing child sexual exploitation.
I am a very proud mother and grandmother who enjoys spending time with family I also very much enjoy watching live music and theatre. My favourite performer of all time is Bruce Springsteen, who I have been a huge fan of since the 80’s, and have attended many of his live shows. I also enjoy reading, watching films, going out for walks in the countryside and spending time at the coast, which is where my heart is, having been born in the north east and grew up in Sunderland. Yes, I’m a proud Mackem and still support Sunderland FC, although they don’t make it easy!