Before joining Buckinghamshire New University in 2009, I was head of curriculum for education, health and social care programmes in a further education college. Prior to this, I managed respite provision for children with additional needs and have been curriculum governor at a specialist school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. I have also had my own early years business and have significant experience within the early years and primary sector.
I studied for my PhD with Coventry University and my specialist area of research interest is social policy, with a specific focus on Gypsy and Traveller communities. My PhD explored the bereavement experiences and support needs of Gypsy and Traveller families. This follows my interest in inclusion and supporting vulnerable children and families.
I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and member of the Association for Professional Development in Early Years (TACTYC).
My specialist knowledge has led me to work with Child Bereavement UK, Childhood Bereavement Network, The Traveller Movement, NHS Scotland Bereavement training group and most recently with GATEHerts on a project funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), a pilot research project into the psychological effects of hate crime on Gypsy, Traveller and Roma (GTR) communities.
My career highlight is the publication of a children’s book, ‘it’s different without you’ designed to support bereaved Gypsy and Traveller children, and my ongoing work to raise the profile of the impact of bereavement on mental health and wellbeing, particularly in Gypsy, Traveller and Roma families.