My background is nursing and I worked for many years with cancer patients as a clinical nurse specialist in oncology within the NHS. I became interested in bereavement issues and was for some time a Cruse bereavement counsellor. I also worked for 4 years in the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool.
After the death of our 22 year old daughter Avril, I became involved with The Compassionate Friends (TCF) and ran a TCF group for bereaved parents for many years. About 6 years after Avril’s death our 12 week old grandson died in my arms and the combination of these two deaths plus my many years experience working with bereaved people led me to leave the health service and join SAMM.
I have been with SAMM since 1999 and as well as being the CEO and managing the charity with the help of the trustees and other staff members, I also oversee all the training days for the SAMM volunteers. In addition to this a very important part of my work is to help with training for police Family Liaison Officer, Detectives, Probation officers, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and many other agencies who come into contact with people bereaved through murder or manslaughter.
Victims should be Victims’ as follows I have served on many national committees including three years on the Victims’ Advisory panel (VAP). This committee was set up to advise the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and other senior ministers on issues related to victims of crime and secondary victims of homicide. I also served on the working party that looked into the victims advocate scheme.
In addition I have presented papers to many conferences and have delivered presentations to the Home Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office staff.