I grew up in the small village of Upton St Leonards in Gloucestershire with my mum, dad and older sister. I moved ‘up north’ to Stoke-on-Trent to study for a BA in Fine Art at Staffordshire University. After initially struggling to settle away from home and into my degree, by my second year Stoke-on-Trent had started to feel like a place to call home (having just met my future husband) but I was still not enjoying my studies and so I made the decision to leave university in 2008.
This was a challenging time to be entering the workforce, when unemployment rates were high and so I started working as a civil servant for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), helping others to find employment. After my contract with the DWP ended in 2010 I joined an employment agency and was offered an administrative role at the School of Medicine at Keele University, where I have stayed ever since.
Keele University is a wonderful place to work and I knew immediately that this was where I wanted to build my career. This was also where I discovered the fascinating world of health research for the first time. I held various research administration roles before becoming a clinical study co-ordinator within Keele Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) in 2015, where I was responsible for the day to day running and delivery of multiple randomised controlled trials and research studies under the CTU’s portfolio.
I joined the global health team in 2018 in my current role as research assistant. This current role has been the most pivotal in my career to date as I have discovered my passion for global health research. Additionally, this role has given me the opportunity to develop my academic skills, something I had not worked on since my time at university.
Working in global health research has given me a new perspective on life. I love learning about different cultures, understanding different health challenges experienced globally and how as a team we can forge partnerships from across the globe, all with a shared focus towards addressing these health challenges to improve wellbeing and ensure all have access to good healthcare. I enjoy educating and sharing my knowledge with friends and family. Working in this team has given me more awareness of the world and environment we all live in and how we all have a responsibility and contribution to make to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for us all.
Outside of work, I love going back to my rural roots and going for walks in the beautiful English countryside with my husband and my dog. I have also rediscovered my love for art, recognising that I need to exercise my creativity in order to be happy in life. Whilst I do not find as much time for painting as I would like, my new creative projects include making greetings cards and upcycling old furniture to give them a new lease of life.