I wrote the book “Scarred” for me – by that I mean it was a series of diaries, letters and poems that I had written and received that inspired me to pull it together into a book where I could tell the story of my life. It was a cathartic experience and part of the process that has helped me to come to terms with the past. A friend encouraged me to send the first chapter of the manuscript to a literary critique service and much to my surprise the feedback was positive and I was encouraged to find an agent. I was signed by the first agent that I approached and then offered a book deal by the first publisher we met with. I was delighted that Hodder & Stoughton thought my work was good enough to publish and have been swept along ever since with the momentum of having a book published.
If my words do help others to understand self harm a little better and help people who are still harming to find other ways to cope then this will all be worthwhile.
Life has now moved on at quite some pace. After becoming a Samaritan volunteer over 25 years ago, I became Director of my local branch in Blackpool, then Regional Manager for the North West and then I was honoured to become National Chair between 2008-2011. It was a great priviledge to give something back to the organisation that had helped me so much. In 2011 I was awarded the title of Voluntary Sector Achiever of the Year in the Women in Public Life Awards.
In my paid working life I am now in the fortunate position of working as CEO of a new national charity. The Silver Line is Esther Rantzen's brainchild and is a national 24 hour helpline for older people. I was recruited as CEO in 2012 and am enjoying the challenge and opportunity to start a brand new charity from the beginning. In 2015 The Silver Line was awarded the title of Best New Charity in the Charity Times Awards. Please see www.thesilverline.org.uk for more details.
I regularly speak at conferences as a motivational speaker. I speak at all sorts of events and can talk about my life experiences, overcoming adversity, my work in the charity sector and can tailor my approach to suit the event. More details on my speaking page.
In my spare time I enjoy writing, reading and foreign travel. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.