Board of Directors
I am a Social Entrepreneur and Consultant with experience in marketing, fundraising, youth engagement, training and development, project management and strategic planning.
As a young person who struggled with their mental health due to coming to terms with a life limiting illness, I found it extremely difficult to form relationships as an adolescent and shied away from statutory support services. Reading, making and creating comics became a lifeline and means of self-therapy for me as I found atypical youth work services extremely daunting. I Co-founded Comics Youth in 2015 as a direct response and means of plugging service provision gaps for marginalised young people who fall through the cracks (care leavers, LGBT, LAC’s, SEND YP) between tier 1 (universal services) and tier 4 services (CAMHS). During the past 10 years I have honed my social enterprise and research skills in a range of roles within the third sector be it fundraising, evaluation and monitoring, service design or business development. My greatest achievements to date include securing over £6 million pounds of grant funding for a mix of charities and social enterprises within the Liverpool City Region, becoming a part of the Rank Foundation’s ‘Rank Net’ Steering Group and being invited to sit on the Knowsley Learning, Cultural and Educational Partnership Steering Group, Arts and Education and young people’s All Parliamentary Group. I am also a current student within the School of Social Entrepreneur’s Scale-Up programme, based in London
My professional qualifications include the following: Law degree, Master’s Degree in Public Health Research, HND in Health Informatics, Level 4 Counselling Skills, Level 3 Youth Work Qualification, Prince 2, Social Return on Investment Practitioner and a Diploma in Fundraising.
I am graduate of English and French, with a passionate interest in youth empowerment, improving literacy levels in excluded groups and promoting multi-modal literacy through graphic novels. I am a School of Social Entrepreneurs Fellow, hold a PGCE in Informal Education and qualifications in Mental Health First Aid, CBT and Mindfulness. I co-founded Comics Youth because I wanted to see more young people with backgrounds lie mine accessing the same opportunities that helped me to work through the trauma I faced as a young person. Comics Youth is about shining a light on diversity and celebrating those differences by enabling young people to speak truth to power and have their voices heard through publishing zines and comics!
As a young person, I struggled with my mental health and battled with anxiety, depression and feelings of low self-worth. Over the past 10 years I used comics as a way to ground myself and learned all I could about comic therapy, literacy development and mental health focused techniques to develop the core service model of Comics Youth. I have chosen to use my story to inspire and motivate young people to turn their lives around no matter what their life experiences. It doesn’t matter where you started in life, what matters is where you are heading to. This is only the start for us and we are really excited to bring my passion and lived experiences to Comics Youth to help young people that come from backgrounds like mine to feel supported and not fall through the cracks.
I am a passionate social advocate with a strong history of educational and third sector development. At present, I co-manage a third sector health outreach programme for The Brain Charity based at The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery. The role requires me to take on complex case management, assisting and advocating for patients with neurological conditions in relation to their treatment, finances, legal status and in seeking out information about diagnosis. I manage a team of volunteers who provide peer support to hospital inpatients and administrative support when I am out of office. I have presented at national and local conferences, contributed to Neuro-Rehab research, written funding proposals, written copy for our bi-monthly newsletter, completed small design tasks for promotional materials, co-managed the corporate Instagram account, and been largely responsible for structured relationship building with core health professionals to aid the progression of the charity. I have recently been tasked with acting as the representative for the organisation in local Welfare and Wellbeing Organisation Network (WWON) meetings with LCVS.
I have also honed my skills during my time as Project Co-ordinator for the Reader Organisation. Within this role, I designed and delivered reading for pleasure sessions to 130 disadvantaged children and young people across Liverpool in one year- my responsibilities included: Working with families facing poverty, social isolation, educational difficulties, domestic violence or who were receiving intervention from social services; managing, creating and delivering volunteer training; managing caseloads of 20+volunteers and staff and HR functions within the org. Additionally, I have been responsible for designing and developing a vibrant provision of events and weekly shared reading groups. As Reader in Residence, I was further charged in creating a programme of weekly groups and events for the Centre for Reading and Well-being in Calderstones Park by creating a whole population approach.
I have over 10 years professional experience supporting groups and individuals who are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised. Having personal experience of anxiety and depression, being an individual who identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA community, a parent and an enthusiastic zinester, I have felt a strong attachment to the mission of Comics Youth CIC since moving to Liverpool.
I have six years’ experience of working within the homelessness sector, including my role as Business Development Coordinator for The Big Issue Cymru. My challenging role there covered the whole of Wales and required a clear insight into the many situations that could lead to a person becoming vulnerably housed or homeless. Mental ill-health, rehabilitation from substance abuse and complex trauma were some of the key issues faced by this client group and we were striving as a not-for-profit social business to provide ‘a hand up, not a hand out’ and were proud to offer the opportunity to earn, engage with support services and be part of a unique enterprise for social justice. At The Big Issue, I gained experience of making significant asks, in the form of grants from the Welsh Assembly Government, corporate sponsorship and social enterprise activity for financial stability, growth and provision planning. I also gained valuable experience and insight in publishing, media and copy-writing for national press. We were also very active as an organisation in lobbying government, local authorities and businesses around homelessness, fuel poverty, mental health and many other social issues. I was a keen member of focus and steering groups, particularly in the Cardiff area.
I have worked within charity fundraising teams with my main area of specialism being donor stewardship. In my current position at Alder Hey Children’s Charity, I am fortunate to be responsible for developing and implementing a stewardship strategy across all fundraising departments: Community, Corporate, Trusts & Foundations and Major Giving. My role also covers content production, marketing and social media (predominantly Twitter and Facebook). I would describe my role as a ‘storyteller’ in such that I can use my experience and understanding to package, illustrate and celebrate the role of the charity in helping Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to go the extra mile for children and young people. I have strong skills in communications and content production and pride myself on holding ethics and integrity in high esteem.