I have been working on a freelance basis on and of for nearly 2 decades, having completed an environmental science degree in Salford in 1995. I did not really know what I was going to do at that point, other than that it would be community based, and that it would be close to home (I spent 3 years commuting from St.Helens to Salford, and vowed never to do it again).
I began making my own way in life, with a keen interest in developing complimentary currency systems called LETS - or Local Exchange Trading Systems. At this point, I also got involved in the permaculture movement, which promotes practical, solutions based approaches to solving environmental and social issues at a local level. Money was tight, as these were new ideas, and funding was not available, plus my experience of working in the not-for-profit sector was virtually non. However, I ducked and I dived, and somehow I learned to keep my head above water, in the cash-scarce not-for-profit sector. Towards the end of 1999 (the turn of the millennium), I moved to Manchester, where I have been living on an inner city estate known colloquially as 'the Redbricks', ever since.
Between 2009 and 12, I had a well paid position working for Groundwork UK, and this enabled me to buy my home in Hulme, in the centre of Manchester. (Through luck rather than good planning, I took out an interest tracker mortgage, shortly before the Credit Crunch hit, which meant that my mortgage interest payments dropped to virtually zero. This combined with the fact that I purchased an ex-council flat, with a hefty 'right-to-buy' discount, meant that I was able to buy the property quickly at a very affordable price.) This has left me in a good position, with low overheads, meaning that I am able to offer my services at reasonable rates. I have 'issues' with many of the consultants operating in the not-for-profit sector, who charge high fees, and deliver services of questionable value.
I am more interested in seeing a job well done, than I am in getting rich quick, so if you think that I may be able to help your project / organisation / business, then please get in touch, and perhaps we'll be able to work together.