About

I was born and went to school in Essex, but since then I have spent most of my life  in the North East of England.

I studied English, Latin and Philosophy at Durham University in the 1970s and graduated as a BA with Honours.

I later successfully studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Communications at Leeds Trinity University College. In 2010 I was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in Public Communications from the University of Leeds for my research on how unemployment is portrayed in the media in the North East. I also hold a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

After an earlier career in customer service in the public sector I became a government press and public relations officer in 1999, a job I held for 12 years before deciding to leave the corporate world and go it alone as a tutor and trainer.

As a press officer, effective communications were my main concern. I worked with local, regional, national and international media and did a good deal of writing, and speaking on radio and TV. I worked mainly for the Department for Work and Pensions but was involved in projects with other organisations including the Ministry of Defence and Buckingham Palace. I was regularly responsible for briefing government ministers and senior managers and arranging ministerial visits.

I was also trained as a trainer and designed and delivered training and coaching for junior colleagues.

My experience has covered all aspects of communication including:
  • Media Handling and Dealing with Journalists
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing
  • Campaign Management
  • Public Speaking
  • Brand and Reputation Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Research and Analysis
  • Internal Communications
  • Interview Techniques
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media and Online Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Voiceover Techniques
I am a full member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and a full member of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT). Since 2012 I have been a freelance trainer for Westminster Explained, delivering Civil Service Learning courses throughout the UK. I am also a member of the Senior Common Rooms at the College of St Hild and St Bede and Collingwood College in Durham University, a Mentor to a number of Hild Bede students and former secretary of the alumni association of that college. I work from home near Durham City.