I haven’t always been lucky enough to live in Leeds… I’m from an old Sheffield family, and I started out life in the Hope Valley just outside the city there. But my family moved south when I was six, and insisted on taking me with them. So I grew up down there – until I had the good fortune to return to the North in the 90s, to study at Leeds University. I instantly fell in love with the city, and am still here.
Since 2002, I’ve lived down in Beeston in south Leeds. My main work since then has been co-running a community development charity, Together for Peace. We’re based in the city centre, but work across Leeds. This work features: supporting a wide range of people and groups to develop positive local projects and events; mentoring and advocacy (ie speaking up for people); and overseeing major community projects, including budgets, teams, marketing, and more.
Since 2009, I’ve also been employed part-time by the Salvation Army to develop that same work around south Leeds. I squeezed in a part-time Peace Studies MA at Bradford Uni. And over the years, I’ve also done mentoring and advice work at the former Park Lane College and for Leeds youth charity Everything Is Possible, and worked in retail, pubs, and farming. For a full list of the community projects and events I am or have been involved in, click here.
I like footy, running, squash, cycling, cats, some dogs, films, coffee, and real ale. I consider myself a Christian, although am not a regular church-goer – and I’m massively inspired by people I know of other faiths and none. Last but definitely not least, I’m married to an inspiring, creative, and very patient Yorkshire lass called Tania – and we’ve a cracking little daughter called Emily.