In 2016 I experienced a lot of change and found myself fumbling from one job to another; signing the dotted line on yet another zero hour contract. I wanted remain but lost and my mind became hazy. I felt detached until it suddenly occurred to me that what I really wanted to do was something fulfilling, constructive and meaningful.
Way back in 2013, I took part in my first run and on 21st January 2017 I completed my 85th. Those that know me will tell you that I never tire of telling anyone that will listen of what a great concept parkrun is and how I love the inclusive environment that you can take advantage of a free local 5k run.
What I've learnt over the years is that yes, dementia is a challenging condition, but it shouldn't be one that stops those living with it from doing what they love, or even trying something new. Yet, because the condition can affect memory, thinking, orientation and language, many people find it difficult to continue doing the things they enjoy.
If you were going to give an extra special Valentine this year what would it be? This year, I'm not going to send cards, flowers or cute teddy bears to anyone, even if I do love them. Instead I'm giving gifts to people I don't know and might never meet, and my heart feels full just thinking about it.
Over those two hours, I was allowed to be silly, to escape from the adult world and into the world of this toddler. Even though it was brief, it was very much needed. Kids aren't that scary, it turns out. You just need to be brave enough to think silly, to not make sense at all, and to have the courage to put a chocolate snowman on your porch in the middle of summer.
A few years ago, I probably would have said that I did not feel in control of my life. I was fortunate to have loving grandparents who never stopped supporting me and to come across The Prince's Trust which helped me set up my business. They were some of the helping hands which have enabled me to be in a position today to help so many young girls reach their potential.
The key thing I noticed was that once a volunteer gave a bit of time to a cause, they generally then started to give money, or bring their networks in to help, to fundraise, and give other stuff. I dreamt of a technology platform that would bring all that under one roof to facilitate what I was currently doing, patchily, by phone and email.