I grew up in a family of 5 children where our parents were determined we would all have the opportunity to go to university. My father died when I was 17 and I went to university in Durham a year later to study youth and community work. I became a parent during my third year of university as well as gaining my first youth worker post for a local authority. I graduated with first class honours and worked as a youth and community worker for several years following, whilst also teaching for the Open University and gaining my MA in Education with them. I studied my PhD in faith-based youth work from 2008 – 2013 and have worked full-time in academia since. During my academic career so far I have worked for YMCA George Williams College (2011-2015), which specialises in youth and community work training at undergraduate and postgraduate level, worked as a research fellow in social work at Middlesex University (2015-2016) before securing a permanent lectureship in youth and community work at Goldsmiths last year. During this time I have taught trainee youth and community workers and social workers. I have also developed my research profile, with specialisms in young people, youth work, religion and crime.