Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born in Brighton and raised in Lewes, a market town about 8 miles from Brighton. I have happy memories of my school days at the Pells and later Lewes Priory.
From there I moved to Milton Keynes where I studied at the Milton Keynes College of Education and trained to be a teacher. Sadly I never taught but went into fashion retail. I held a number of positions with several companies including Lord John and Next.
In 1991 following a difficult year I found myself out of work and my mum asked me to come into the voluntary organisation she worked for and give them some of my time. From this voluntary opportunity I went onto a job placement scheme and landed the job as Information Officer for the East Sussex Disability Association. I have been with them ever since and am now Chief Executive.
I live with my partner, Graham, and our cat, Sybil, in an Edwardian terraced house that we renovated. We’ve lived there for about 13 years now. We host foreign students for several weeks of the year and I find this very interesting and enjoyable. It’s also led us to visit Bogota to see one of the students. We have a small flat in Andalucia which we visit as often as possible.
What one thing are you most proud of in your 53 years?
I’m proud of several things that I have achieved in my life so far – wonderful partner, lovely home, good and interesting job, fantastic set of friends, reasonably well travelled and so on. I guess I’m most proud of coming out which has enabled me to be true to myself and others.
What one thing do you want to have done before you’re 100?
Before I’m 100 I hope to have travelled a lot more and that we’ve retired to a small plot in Spain where I can have chickens and a couple of Pugs (even though Graham can’t abide them!).
What piece of advice would you give your 10 year old self?
I would tell my 10 year old self to be true to yourself and that being honest is the best policy. I knew at about that age that I wasn’t the same as other boys but felt under pressure to conform and was scared to be different. Being different is good and anyone who really matters will love you despite that difference.