I am born and bred in Beeston, Leeds and love this great city and want it to be the best. I now live in Holbeck with my wife Jenny and son Robert, I also have 2 other children, Lianne and Jason and a grandson Shae. I have always enjoyed building and making things, I still do when I can. My dream is to have a fully fitted workshop.
I’m always asked what my hobbies are and I reply, “volunteering and helping others”.
I was able bodied up to just after my thirties, so I understand to a degree both the able and disabled world. Crucially, I understand how difficult it can be for people to access not just buildings but services. I endeavour to help others change the way society caters for people with differing abilities, so they can live a good, healthy, happy and safe life.
I studied engineering at Uni of Leeds through my working life to become a qualified Patternmaker, during my illness I gained a degree in art at open university to keep my brain active.
I have always believed in the adage that if you are going to complain you have to have a solution, or ensure you’ve been to someone who can help. Don’t just sit back and complain; get involved, be an active citizen.
I have had help from mental health services and advocacy at different times during my illness hence my passion for research and how it will help solve a lot of the health problems.
I’m involved in ensuring access (or the lack of it) in the city. I’m Co-chair of the Better Lives Board, A Leeds City Council Hub Representative, Trustee of Access Committee for Leeds, Touchstone, Leep1, Leeds involving people, change committee member, member of the Service Users and Carers Strategy Group at Leeds Beckett University, member of NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) PPI forum based in Sheffield.
Doing and being involved in these things means I am giving back to those who helped me and still do. as I tell people “If i can I will; if not, I’m in bed recuperating.”