I originally trained as a social worker and worked for a number of years as a Team Manager and then as a Child Protection Co-ordinator, before moving over to the charity sector where I worked in Director roles for a number of not for profit organisations.
One of the idiosyncrasies of the not for profit sector is the role of 'the accidental techie' i.e. the member of staff who makes the mistake of showing some interest in technology and thereby becoming the organisation's in house 'expert'. I was that person - and, alongside struggling with failing servers and flaky internet connections, I began building websites with some of the fairly primitive tools that were then available.
Over the last twenty years this technology has developed rapidly and tools like Squarespace, Shopify and Wordpress make it possible to build professional websites at a speed and cost that would have seemed unthinkable a short time ago. (I have also learnt that just because you can make a website's buttons flash and turn somersaults, this doesn't necessarily make this a good idea...).
Writing / Communications
I've always enjoyed writing and whilst I was still working for social services I began a side project as a freelance journalist, sending off my first article to the The Guardian, who published it and paid me - (my subsequent experience has been that these two actions are not necessarily linked...).
As well as writing other pieces for the Guardian, I wrote for a number of cycling magazines and some social work journals. However any ambitions to become a full time journalist were soon disabused by the reality of constantly having to chase the Finance Directors of various publishers for whatever small amount they had agreed to pay me.
A little older and wiser, I began phase two of my career as a Director / Chief Executive of various small and medium, sized charities. Alongside the experience of managing staff and budgets I also became involved with, and frequently led on, a range of communications, PR and marketing activities. I wrote everything from web copy to annual reports and press releases, and commissioned PR agencies and web development companies.
Life doesn't necessarily proceed as planned and a few years ago I took some time out from working to become a full time parent. By this time I had moved to Sheffield and, alongside my primary role as a teenage taxi service, I kept my hand in by writing regularly for both the Sheffield Star and Now Then magazine. More recently, as my children grew older, I was able to devote the time to launch Wordscount, with a focus on website development and copywriting.
When I am not working or parenting, I cycle, watch films, see live music when I can and try to cope with the rejection of being a failed model (the second photo is from my one and only unsuccessful modelling assignment..).