Sue was born in Essex and spent the first year of her life living in a caravan in Epping Forest with her parents and older brother. This probably explains her affinity with trees and her need to get out into the countryside on a daily basis. Sue’s arrival meant that her parents had gained the points they needed to apply for a council house and they moved the following year.
Sue was and is an avid reader. As a child she would finish one book and immediately pick up another. From Little Grey Rabbit and Winnie the Pooh to Narnia and Alice through the Looking Glass, she had to be prised away from her book to eat her meals. At seven she became the proud owner of a library card and a whole new world opened up.
School and university provided the opportunity to get involved in performance arts and she acted and directed across a range of plays and musicals. After leaving university she lived in East London and worked for a University press as their marketing manager. She continued to perform with a local theatre and choir.
Sue and her husband and two young children moved to Bedford 30 years ago and she has been involved in range of local initiatives. She help to set up Bedford Home Start, a befriending group for parents with children under five, trained as a counsellor and counselling supervisor and worked in the drug and alcohol team in Bedford. The service was designed for adults who often had complex needs. Whilst working on this team she became aware of an increasing number of young people trying to access the service and with local youth service providers put a bid in for Department of Heath Funding grant stream to set up 3 pilot schemes in England to deliver to 13-19 year olds. They were successful and set up PLAN B – Peer Led Active Network Bedford. Working with schools and youth groups they trained 16-18 year olds to work with and buddy young people.
Over the years Sue has developed a range of services for children and young people and been successful in obtaining grants from local and national agencies including the Department of Health, Local Authorities and the National Lottery. She has been a governor in local school and continues to have an interest in arts subjects in schools. She is a trustee for two other Bedford based charities: Bedford Open Door counselling for young people and Living It Up which provides opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to experience dance, karaoke sessions, learn to play and sing in a band. LIU also has a Gig Buddy scheme which teams volunteers with someone at LIU who enjoys the same sort of event – music gigs, cinema, sport matches and more.
In her spare time she walks the coastal paths with friend, and has, over a number of years, walked the Camino de Santiago. She also enjoys time with her two grandsons.