Why do you want to make Scotland the best place for LGBTQ+ young people to flourish and thrive?
I am very lucky in my role that I get to work with our amazing young people, and see and hear about their experiences first hand. We know that LGBTQ+ young people face additional barriers, and that they are disproportionately more likely to be impacted by mental health and trauma, and the negative rhetoric and day to day hate that they face. Despite all the negativity I see our amazing LGBTQ+ young people, who are creative, fun, supportive, determined and who want a Scotland that is the best place! They are our future and I want them to realise and reach their potential.
What is your experience?
I have worked in the voluntary sector for 25 years and I am passionate about supporting vulnerable children and young people and their families to achieve and realise their potential, and I have dedicated myself to this throughout my career.
I started my career in early years working with children aged 18 months to five years. I then spent 11 years working with a women’s aid group providing culturally sensitive support to women, children
and young people, primarily from BAME communities.
I’ve worked in residential children’s units providing education and supported accommodation services to children and young people with additional support needs. I was a volunteer counsellor with ChildLine, a role I found extremely fulfilling. I also worked for a mental health charity overseeing counselling services provided in secondary schools.
For almost five years I’ve had the privilege of leading our amazing youth work team to ensure improved outcomes for LGBTQ+ young people and supporting them to flourish and thrive in all aspects of their lives.
What do you do for fun?
Anyone who knows me knows I am a massive Disney geek! (I may own a ridiculous amount of memorabilia…). I also love live music and theatre, you’ll often find me planning to attend a gig of some sort!
What mattered most to you when you were a young person?
Spending time with my friends, which is why I think having a space to be yourself, with your peers, and having positive supportive relationships is still so important today, and especially for LGBTQ+