I’ve been writing poetry since I was 13 and more recently have begun to explore memoir and other types of prose such as short stories and flash fiction. I’m a founder member of a writing group in my region and also attend regular creative courses and workshops, mostly around writing, particularly poetry. I began my working life mentoring disadvantaged and disengaged young people who were experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties, which affected their ability to reach their full potential. Later, I gained an MA in Creative Writing and retrained as a journalist. I’ve now been working in communications for about 15 years, and also offer photography as part of my portfolio. I have an Enhanced DBS Disclosure and continue to volunteer as a mentor through various schemes, primarily with young people. I’m now pursuing formal training in counselling alongside running my own business and have a part time job doing marketing for a publisher of poetry. I’m also a Mental Health First Aider with MHFA England, and am a trained Arts Award Adviser at Discover, Explore, Bronze and Silver levels.