I first moved to Sheffield in 2005 when I came to study Social and Cultural Studies in Sport at Sheffield Hallam University from which I graduated with First class honours in 2008. Whilst at University I met my wife and we’ve made our home here in the city (bringing two small children in to the world along the way!). Professionally, I’ve worked in both the private and third sector in Sheffield, starting out as a cashier at Barclays bank before moving on after 6 years to take up a role as an Employment Adviser for a small charity in Sheffield which helped support people back in to work. During this time I managed to squeeze in a full-time masters at Hallam studying Sport, Culture and Community and graduated in 2013 with a distinction.

In 2016 I took up my current post working as an Occupational Health Employment Adviser for SOHAS (Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service) – an organisation that has worked for many years in Sheffield to prevent and alleviate the effects of work on health and vice versa. In my role I work in a number of GP surgeries across the city as well as within the Improving Access to Psychological Services (IAPT) team to give independent and impartial advice about health and work, including employment rights, signposting of services and guidance on benefits. More recently I have taken on the responsibility of working in partnership with the Sheffield Carers Centre to provide advice and guidance on employment matters for the city’s many informal and unpaid carers. Previously, I’ve helped deliver a ground-breaking trial to explore the impact of targeted employment support and advice for stroke patients of working age requiring close working partnerships with secondary care across Sheffield. As a result, I have significant experience of supporting people with a range of physical and mental health conditions to keep their independence by remaining well and in work and have a good understanding of the importance of good support networks and services (and lack thereof in some cases).

My role is hugely rewarding and very tangible in a lot of cases and I believe the experience I have lends itself well to the ethos and objectives of The Talbot Trusts and the funding it provides. Whilst the work I do is rewarding and makes a positive difference to the people I come in to contact with I’m eager to do more to help and am at a point both professionally and personally where I feel my skills are sufficient to be of use in a trustee capacity. Working for a small charity within the third sector I’m profoundly aware of the funding gaps that exist and that subsequently limit a lot of small charities and organisations from growing and supporting people in need and so helping to ensure that worthy causes benefit from accessible funding opportunities is something I’d love to be involved in.