I was born and raised in Great Yarmouth and moved to Southend when I was 9 years old. We moved away to escape a toxic relationship and lived in the women's refuge who were amazing and gave us the support and love to grow.
I grew up in the Kursaal Estate and though it may not have been easy, it was a place where I made a lot of friends. It's easy to write off this section of Southend, and when you hear what is said about the Kursaal Estate it can actually be hurtful to the people living there. I know there is a strong sense of community there because I was in it, and there are plenty of good people who want, like all of us, to be given the opportunity to do well in life. Yes, there are serious challenges there, but I will not write them off!
I went to Hamstel Junior school for two years before going to The Thorpe Bay High School.
When I left school I wanted to be an actor and to be honest I was stuck in a rut not knowing what to do next and struggled. I signed up for the Princess Trust programme which got me a job at Argos and whilst doing the Princess Trust I learnt about fundraising.
In 2006 I got a job in retail and since 2007 I've been fundraising whilst holding down a full time job and raising a family. I have helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds over many years for which I thank every person who donated to causes close to my heart.
Money doesn't mean anything to me, just health, happiness and helping people.
I'm now in my 15th year of fundraising and so far I've organised and participated in 110 fundraisers, raising money for 32 different charities with the current running total standing at just over £178,000.
I've taken part in the Brighton marathon, the national 3 peaks challenge, locked in a cage for 24 hours no food or drink, slept rough on the streets for 28 hours, quiz nights, charity fun days, Yorkshire 3 peaks. I run a charity football club (we are looking for a home pitch), and I am hoping to get in the London marathon this year.
I've lived in Southend for 30+ years and I love my time here and want to make it the best it can be.
I'm always available for a chat and if any advice is needed I will try my best.
Here's to the next 30+ years!