My background is in economics and working in public service. With degrees in economics from Sheffield and Manchester I worked in the civil service in the Employment Department, Education Department and Business and Innovation Department. I worked on economic appraisal and research and evaluation of active labour market policy, and education policy.
In 2002 I trained in website design and took a career break from the civil service for three years whilst I built up a website portfolio and established a good customer base in the Isle of Man. I spent three wonderful years living in Peel in the Isle of Man and, even now we are back in Sheffield, it still feels like home. I offer reduced rates to businesses based in Peel.
On returning to Sheffield I split my time between the civil service and design work.
Whilst the civil service was rewarding work, ultimately helping unemployed people find work, and young people and adults get the education and training that would secure them a better working life, it felt quite removed from real life at times. I'd also covered as wide a range of policy as possible without moving to London, so, after 21 years, decided to fully make the leap to being a freelancer. I can now enjoy the creativity and the appeal of seeing a much more immediate impact to my work.
My aim is to make a real difference to businesses' profitability by creating a website that promotes them effectively to as wide an audience as possible. I most enjoy working for small businesses, and, as an owner myself of a small business, I understand the importance of working efficiently and economically to minimise costs. I use my consultancy and project management skills from 21 years as a government policy analyst to quickly assess business requirements and to deliver them with value for money, and generally getting things right first time. I will never sell anyone something that they don't need.
Currently based primarly in Sheffield, I also have bases in the Isle of Man, Cheshire and Dundee, and can work from all those places without imposing any travel costs if face to face meetings are required.
New ventures in photography: More recently I became interested in photography. I have always produced photographic images for my websites, and joining the online photo journal Blipfoto rapidly improved my skills and it became (sometimes) a more artistic outlet for me. It only allows one photo per day, so more of this ilk can be found on my Flickr pages.
Combining my interests in photography, web design and social history I have set up archivephotography.co.uk to document contemporary working life and town centres, and preserve it for future posterity. With three projects completed or underway in the Isle of Man, I am now looking to also extend the approach to towns in the UK.