My connection with Cambridge goes back to the time of my great-grandparents, who ran a farm just off Coldhams Lane. I brought up my family here and have always felt that it was home.
From my work in international education, I’ve learnt about communication across different cultures, and the importance of community to our well-being.
I’m the chair of Make, Do and Mend and I’ve been involved since we started. Our ethos of helping and supporting each other is at the core of everything we do.
I relocated from Manchester to Cambridge in 2000 and although I have lived in many places since, Cambridge has always felt like home.
No other city matches the kindness and sense of community within Cambridge and this is largely incorporated in MDAM’s work, in helping those suffering from mental health distress and isolation.
I have a background in marketing, business development and healthcare branding and hope I can utilise my skillset in helping to continue MDAM’s organisational growth.
By profession, I’m an accountant and came to Cambridge over 40 years ago to work for Philips. When the Philips office in Cambridge closed, I decided it was time to try running my own company and I have been managing director of Securesafe Ltd since 1998.
From seeing the experiences of others, I know how important it is that people with mental health issues get support and how important it is that they have the opportunity in a relaxed environment to do productive activities. I know that some people feel ashamed of mental health issues and try to keep them secret which is very damaging.
As well as financial expertise and experience of fundraising with other charities I hope that I can work with Make do and Mend to build links with the local community to help to change the perceptions of mental health.