I have made the move to the voluntary sector after many years of working in councils, mostly in adult social care. From that work I have a passion for supporting family carers, people who support a family member or friend who couldn’t cope without their support. I have also worked for many years to promote direct payments, where people living with disabilities take control to organise their own care and support.
I also bring a strong interest in managing diabetes. I have type 2 diabetes in my family and was diagnosed myself at the age of 45. I understand the challenges of living with type 2, and like many people, have had some ups and downs along the way. From my short time in this job, I have learnt one key thing: that starting to think of lifestyle changes as something that can be positive, with beneficial effects in other areas of life and health, is an important first step towards living well with diabetes. The mentors are here to help anyone with type 2 make those first steps.
I have lived in Bristol for 17 years, and moved here from London. I however have Bristolian roots, my grandfather was from South Bristol, and became a footballer, starting his career at Bristol City.
My hobbies include keeping fit, active and strong through weight training at the gym, and running. I started the couch to 5k programme in the Autumn, running in a group with other beginners. Despite lacking a classic runner’s build, and a few injury issues, I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it. I have lapsed lately for various reasons, but it is time to get back into the gym and running, particularly now Spring is here.
I also enjoy walking and have two stages left to complete on the Thames Path – Putney to the Thames Barrier left to do! I also read a lot, mostly fiction, and will give any good fiction a go – I have been enjoying the Jackson Brodie novels by Kate Atkinson lately.
I look forward to learning more about managing diabetes and to working with all our partners and mentors to take the project forward, to support more people to live well with type 2 Diabetes.