Following student years at Cambridge reading for a history degree, and then a Master’s degree in sociology from the London School of Economics, I have spent most of my working life in social work. I received a diploma in social work from Birmingham University.
Preponderantly my work has been with separating parents and their children, first in the Court Welfare Service, and then with Cafcass, working as part of a close knit team, and contributing to the formulation of policy and practice through articles in professional journals. This has been in Birmingham, Derby and Stoke on Trent. While I have had long experience of working in the courts, and writing reports to help judges make decisions, my focus in nearly all cases has been to try to help parents resolve their issues, avoiding court hearings where possible. Family therapy has been a particular interest.
I trained as a mediator in 1993, and have built up my experience over the last 20 years. Working often with different solicitor mediators, and benefitting from continuing training, I now mediate financial as well as child related issues. I left part time work with Cafcass some five years ago. I believe strongly in mediation, helping parents make decisions together, and greatly welcome the opportunities arising from the shift in government policy toward much greater use of mediation.
I have two daughters, and two growing grandsons. I continue to be a keen walker, traveller and reader ( for six years I enjoyed the owning and running of a bookshop). I am delighted now to be part of a new venture, bringing together highly experienced colleagues, with long experience of working together.