I love science, all of it. I love maths, particularly geometry. I love art. I think everyone is a scientist and artist at heart. I really care about our environment.
I am often asked how my career developed. In short, I studied Environmental Microbiology at the University of Aberdeen. After some travelling, I did a few years in a research lab and decided that I preferred communicating the wonder of science rather than counting cells under a microscope. That revelation led to a short stint as a teaching assistant in a primary school where I realised that I love working with children. This led to becoming the Education Officer at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh where I loved taking the portable planetarium out to schools and libraries. After five years I moved back to the North East to become Public Engagement Manager at the Centre for Life. Six and a half years later I decided to work freelance in order to take on more challenging and varied projects. I have really enjoyed working for myself for the last seven years. I have collaborated with so many amazing people and worked on so many great projects all over the UK and abroad. In 2019 I felt the need for a bit of an intellectual challenge so I thought I’d do a Masters in Heritage Studies at Newcastle University. It was all made more challenging by coronavirus lock downs and home-schooling three children but I got through it. My dissertation was ‘Doing heritage in Northumberland: the effect of long term relationships with heritage sites on wellbeing, identity and ontological security’ exploring our connection to heritage sites that we keep going back to.
In April 2021 I started working for North Pennines AONB on their Tees Swale: Naturally Connected project as Interpretation Officer part time. I am really loving this job, exploring Teesdale and Swaledael and findingout how farmers are not only tending to their sheep and cattle but are also incraesing the carbon stoarge of their land and increasing water quality and enhancing habitats for rare birds and wildflowers.
I’ve also been doing a little bit of work for English Heritage, facilitating the Conservation on the Road program. I had great fun at Belsay Hall in the Autumn and I’m looking forward to spending time with the camper van this spring and summer.
I think it important to make time to play and explore. I think we need to learn through doing whether you are a child or an adult. I think human being need to make connections to their heritage and the natural world around them. I find the greatest satisfaction in facilitating these connections.
Good to Know
I am proficient in writing risk assessments for festivals and smaller events.
I have public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. I am also insured for Forest School activities including campfires.
I have enhanced DBS.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We are all more aware of mental health issues in children these days. I have a Level 2 Mental Wellbeing in Children and Young People qualification. I have just completed a Level 3 Diploma in Child Psychology and recently attended a course on Resilience in children and young people run by Young Minds.
May 2021- Association of Heritage Interpreters course Heritage Interpretation by The Authentic Spark
September 2019- September 2020 MA Heritage Studies at Newcastle Univerity
March 2019 Calling the Soul Back Home- Selkie myths with Janis Mackay Scottish Storytelling Centre