What was your first job? I was a freelance journalist.
What does your current role involve? I lead a team of 35 to develop ways to support legal advisers on issues such as welfare rights. We run training courses and offer free representation to claimants referred by advice services in London. We also have a magazine that informs professionals on legislative changes and case law developments.
Roughly outline your career path It began with local campaigning in the early 1980s when the children's hospital in Paddington was on the verge of closing down. After this I joined Voluntary Action Westminster, before moving to the Swiss Cottage Community Centre, where I was volunteer organiser for three years. I then worked as London development officer at the National Federation of Community Organisations, now Community Matters, before spending seven years as general secretary at the Islington Voluntary Action Council.
I was appointed director of the Refugee Education Training and Advisory Service (RETAS), a division of Education Action International, in 1996. I have been chief executive of LASA for three months.
What training has most enhanced your career? The Islington Common Purpose, for leaders from all sectors.
What has been your greatest career achievement? To have employed refugees as RETAS staff members and given them the opportunity to advance through the organisation's ranks.
What is your advice to people starting in the sector? Don't lose your ideals. The voluntary sector is often seen as less powerful than other sectors. Partnerships across sectors is where its strength lies.
Are there any charities you support financially, or with time?
I am on the board of the Refugee Arrivals Project and the Refugee Council.
Financially, I support Education Action International.