Born at the DGH
I was born at the Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH) and was named ‘Eastbourne’s cutest baby’ in a town-wide competition! My mum was so proud!
Grew up in Eastbourne
I went to fantastic local schools: St. Thomas A Becket, Stafford, Cavendish and East Sussex College. I was also a Scout with 8th Eastbourne, then 1st Seaside – Bushy Wood was my second home! My first job was serving pizzas as a waiter in town.
Won a place at University
At 18, I won a place at the London School of Economics (LSE). This meant a lot to my parents especially because they hadn’t been to university. While at LSE, I supported talented yet underestimated teenagers to become the first in their families to apply to university.
Became a youth and gangs worker
After university, I moved to the East End of London, where I supported young people out of crime and gang activity and into employment.
Launched an award-winning business
I launched and ran a business for 7 years, training and employing ex-offenders in tech sector roles. We were named ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ by the Evening Standard and Centre for Social Justice.
Awarded an OBE by the Queen
I was honoured to receive an OBE in The Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours List for services to criminal justice, social enterprise and the economy. It was presented to me by Princess Anne at Windsor Castle (I took the opportunity to invite her down to Eastbourne!) I dedicated it to Eastbourne, the town that made me, ‘me’.
Became a Covid vaccinator
During the pandemic, I wanted to help the people of my town. I rolled up my sleeves to train as a local Covid vaccinator and had the life-changing experience of vaccinating hundreds of Eastbournians at the Harbour NHS Vaccination Centre.
Elected as a local councillor
As a local councillor for Hampden Park, I’ve played a leading role in developing a £250,000 support package to help Eastbournians who are struggling through the cost of living emergency. This package supported people within Hampden Park, and wider throughout the town.