In my day job, I am a principal business analyst. More recently we (along with my new stroke family – Andy Clay) started and now co-run (with Andy and Jo Elliott) a support group for younger stroke survivors in the Southampton area. We are called Different Strokes Southampton. We work with universities, the NHS, research organisations and other support groups to make a difference to peoples’ lives, focusing on stroke survivors. In 2017, I took over the post of Chair of the Board of Trustees of Different Strokes nationally, where I can affect the national charity directly.
On top of all of this, I am also a patient representative for 'Side-by-Side' - the patient and public involvement group for the Academy of Research and Improvement at Solent NHS Trust.
Being part of the Different Strokes Southampton group committee, I am jointly responsible for our website, our Facebook page, organising support meetings, arranging social outings, fundraising, looking at research opportunities and generally improving rehabilitation for younger stroke survivors.
I graduated with a systems degree from Sheffield Hallam University and have been working with systems and people since then. My goal has always been to drive efficiency through system and people/process changes. I have worked for various blue chip organisations, both UK and globally. I have managed teams in EMEA, Asia Pac, North America and India. My most recent professional role was as a principal business analyst.
Why I love being in Side-by-Side
I love the Side-By-Side team because of how it has grown, purely organically. For me it started some years ago when I attended an NHS research conference and as a patient representative, I felt totally lost. I fed this back and since then we have been instrumental in the co-production of the conference, ensuring it is accessible to all, not just NHS professionals. Being a Side-By-Sider, gives me the opportunity to be heard and allows me to help shape the future of NHS research and improvement – this is truly making a difference.
More about me
I suffered a sub arachnoid haemorrhage in 2009. I managed my own rehabilitation which I saw as a kind of ‘project’. I involved all the correct resources and have made a good recovery. I am left with thunder clap headaches, extreme fatigue and some eye conditions, one being Fuchs syndrome. But I try to manage these on a daily basis. I have two teenage children who I see during their holidays, as they live in the East Midlands, which is too far for me to drive. I enjoy playing light racquet sports and walking as the latter helps with my headaches.