Born in Brighton, I grew up in Lewes, going to the local Primary school, comprehensive secondary and the FE college Sussex Downs. I worked nights at Tescos and the Rainbow Pub in Lewes (next to the law courts) and then East Sussex County Council before taking on work outside of the area.
I sit on the International Development Committee, the Committees on Arms Export Controls and am the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Justice Secretary. I am the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Affairs and am currenlty bringing a bill to make youth work a statutory service.
I’ve worked for the UN, been Vice President of the European Youth Forum where I lead on development issues and social enterprises and co-ordinate work in the Autonomy and Inclusion Chapter of our work (Education, Employment, Youth Rights, Anti-Discrimination and Mobility).
I am a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a committed co-operator. I was the Chair (09-11) and Vice-Chair (11-13) of the Woodcraft Folk. The Woodcraft Folk is a progressive education movement in the UK. We are part of the International Falcon Movement – Socialist Education International and I worked in 2009/10 in the Brussels office full time.
I have sat on the boards of a number of companies, educational establishments and programme related to education, music and co-operation. I was Vice Chair of the British Youth Council and Studied Peace Studies at Bradford University. I was until 2009 the Treasurer for the Education Not for Sale Network which was a anti-capitalist network of student activists now cooperating with the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.
Prior to 2006 I worked for the National Youth Agency as a young trainer and was a Member and Deputy of the UK Youth Parliament and then Assistant Regional Coordinator. I worked for East Sussex County Council as their Youth Participation officer for a short while in 2005 and was the secretary to the Lewes District Local Strategic Partnership on Children and Youth between 2003-2005.
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