Born 1966 in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Educated at mainstream schools, I struggled with classwork due to unsettled home life and left school in 1983 without any formal qualifications. Fortunately, I had a natural talent for art and found work screen-printing, working in both the art room and print floor before joining the British Army.
During my army career I experience different roles as a rifleman in a frontline Battalion. After promotion to Corporal, I instructed recruits throughout basic training both in the classroom and field lessons.
Life changed on the 4th July 1998 when injury resulted in permanent paralysis below the shoulders.
Feeling compelled to express my surreal sensory experience through art media, I studying Advanced level art at Wakefield College, at the same time adjusting to becoming left-handed. I achieved an A pass.
While studying at college I received the Snowden Award and won the regional adult learner award the following year.
I continued studies with a Diploma in Fine Art and Design, graduating with a distinction in 2002 securing a place at Leeds Metropolitan University studying a bachelor’s degree in Art & Design. I graduated in 2005 with a 2.2
Realising the benefits art as therapy through my art, I began studying a master’s degree in Art Psychotherapy at Leeds Metropolitan University’s Northern Program of Art Psychotherapy, having first sought a qualification in counselling. My final dissertation titled 'Combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Definition, Cause, Stigma and Treatment' reinforced beliefs regarding the void in treatments available for helping combat veterans with mental health issues.
Having completed placements facilitating therapy at Leeds LGI Psychological Assessment and Seacroft Eating Disorders, I graduated in June 2010.