Video transcript: I was from a relatively small town in Kent and I really wanted to go to a big city but I didn’t want to go to London and Birmingham was just the most brilliant city to go to, but also I wanted a campus university and it had the most beautiful campus and of course, an amazing course to do.
I chose to study Philosophy and Political Science because I loved doing essays and thinking through issues at school and also I had a really inspiring Politics teacher who really made me think I could change the world, and so that's why I picked it. Actually it's led onto amazing things in my career for me.
Birmingham has got so much to offer as a student. I think every student is going to want to get different things out of university and have different interests and different activities. My top tip would probably be don't just stay within the university campus, the city itself has got so much to offer in terms of the communities and the neighbourhoods, so I did some amazing volunteering out in the community whilst I was there for three years and that's probably what I got a huge amount out of. So don't just stay on the campus, get out and meet the rest of the community in Birmingham.
Whilst I was studying at Birmingham I volunteered with a local MP initially and then got a role with a local MP and that led onto me then getting a job in Westminster so I worked for various different people under the Labour Government and ended up being an advisor under the Labour Government to a minister, before hopping across to the voluntary sector, doing some work heading up policy and public affairs at the NSPCC and then living abroad for a few years. So I did lots of policy and comms-y work in various countries overseas before coming back and working in the voluntary sector doing a couple of different Chief Executive roles now.
My current role is as Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve. We are a charity behind a campaign called the #iwill campaign and we’re trying to get 60% of young people taking part in social action by 2020, so that’s volunteering, fundraising, campaigning, getting young people to play a really active part in their communities across the UK.
I’m really lucky to have a job that means I have a lot of phenomenal and extraordinary days. So our Patron is the Prince of Wales who's an incredibly active Patron. So I've had some phenomenal, phenomenal days taking young people from across the UK to Buckingham Palace or out on events with him and it's always just so brilliant to see how excited they are to go to those places and do those things.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
Probably that I'm a die-hard Spurs fan and Chris Waddle was my obsession when I was growing up, who was a Spurs player, and I got his autograph about 25 times as I was growing up and I was slightly, I'd say, verging on a stalker.