In 2016 I left my 25-year career in local government and not for profit charities to be with and provide care for both my terminally ill parents. To be blunt I had outstayed my welcome in local government, an opinion that was properly shared with some of the people I knew at the time and with justification. Managing the decline of important local services was not my passion, which I did for the last 3 years of working in local government at Lambeth Council.
In all honesty, I had been working on my escape route for nearly 5 years beforehand, which then came to fruition perfectly.
Since my parents passing I have done quite a lot of soul searching about what I want to do with the time I have at my disposal, the type of person I want to be and the impact I want to make. Most importantly though I have reconnected with a mantra I would repeat in my head when dealing with another crap day or when supporting my parents through their final steps. The purpose of life is to be happy…the purpose of life is to be happy.
West Holts Stage, Glastonbury Festival
I’m currently the Area Organiser for the West Holts Stage at Glastonbury Festival. It’s my responsibility to plan and lead the amazing crew, which delivers a safe and enjoyable West Holts Stage experience for festival goers. You can find out more about the stage by clicking the following link here
Glastonbury Festival to me is like Brigadoon, a mysterious town that appears for only a short-time every 12 months. I’ve had an association with the festival for nearly 20+ years and with the West Holts Stage for 18 years. So being asked to manage the stage is a great honour and privilege.
I have committed myself to provide up to 40% of my working hours for free to local charities, community groups and causes I feel passionate about, namely:
- Homelessness and its many causes.
- Young people, especially those living in neighbourhoods with multiple needs and vulnerable to violent gangs and criminality.
- The protection and improvement of green and open spaces, especially in areas of poverty and health inequalities.
- Tackling animal cruelty.
30 years senior management experience in both local government and the none profit sector. I have worked in some of the most economically and culturally diverse communities in the United Kingdom, including Brixton, Bristol, Teesside, and Greenwich.
- I’ve developed organisational strategies and business plans that deliver real, practical and measurable outcomes.
- Improved partnership working.
- Planned and carried out statutory consultation programmes.
- Lead on the development and implementation of the cooperative council and commissioning model.
- Produced community engagement, voluntary sector and community asset transfer policies through to their delivery.
- Been called upon to handle an unforeseen crisis within an organisation, assess the problem, develop a recovery plan and implement it.
- Hosted, chaired and facilitated challenging meetings and discussions.
- Provided external supervision for individuals and teams.
- Prepared funding strategies and written successful funding applications.
Campaigning and lobbying
Many local community groups often feel a sense of frustration when it comes to trying to get their voice heard above the crowd, especially in a local government setting. Having worked in local government and having to influence its network of partners including the police, health service, government departments and private sector partners I know the tricks and levers to pull to get your voice heard.
10 years experience as an elected councillor in my native North East: Deputy leader, Committee Chair and Group Secretary and Whip have also provided me with a unique mixture of knowledge, experience and capabilities.
I undertake photography assignments for Bristol (South West) charities, community groups and social enterprises. Examples of my work can be found on this website and various links to other platforms you can access on the main page.
Just get in touch if you think I can help. If I can’t I’ll let you know and do my best to direct you to somebody who can.
It is often said that some people are born lucky, I prefer to say I worked for my luck, whatever your take on a life all I can say is that I am a lucky bastard. My blog is simply a way of sharing my journey and like most people in this virtual world, I have the capacity to talk utter bollocks, whose doesn’t, but I try not to take myself that seriously….honest.
Thank you for taking to get this far. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel I can help. In the meantime always remember the words of Bill Hicks, love all the people all the time.