A bit about me
I believe that hard work can make the world a better place.
Since I was little, I've always believed that you try your best, stand up for what you believe in, and never shy away from doing the hard work of trying to be the very best version of yourself. For me, today, this has become about trying to help make the world around us a better place.
But, it wasn't always like that. I grew up desperately wanting to be a pilot, looking down on an almost perfect version of the world from up in the clouds. Maybe that was an escape, or perhaps just a deep love for the look of planes and the smell of kerosene but, regardless, as a kid I spent the majority of my weekends, addicted to Flight Simulator. I plowed my time into building up my own little virtual world, learning to fly online, code, build websites, design logos and a lot more, alongside some guys who have become lifelong friends.
That creativity turned to politics when, alongside my time at school - which was focused on music and drama - and a relatively unhealthy obsession with the Eurovision Song Contest, I helped run a youth music project, and often managed to get myself in the local paper - much to the delight of my grandparents. I organised events like concerts and carnivals in Norfolk and got 'a bit political' whilst campaigning against cuts to the local youth service. My politics led me to the Labour Party, and that activism only grew when, after losing half my hearing, I turned away from music, and went on to study politics at Hull University.
Studying in Hull
Even my degree got sidetracked by 'real' politics, all thanks to signing up to the Labour Club, becoming a student officer and then working with former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Doing this I oversaw one of the largest campaigns in the country against the rise in tuition fees, campaigned to tackle homelessness in Hull and East Riding and made crime and policing a regional issue.
About the same time, after a casual 20-ish years or so, I came out as gay. Growing up in the countryside had been remote, but I was lucky enough to come of age at a time of emerging, legal, equality and a changing society strengthened by technology. I owe a lot to a rather unreliable dial-up internet connection and later some great friends for the advice and support I was able to get at my fingertips and educate myself about the experiences of the community, and who I was as an LGBT+ person.
Moving to London
It was through each of these opportunities and challenges that I became absolutely passionate about the ability of community, creativity and technology to shape politics and society. I was lucky enough to move to London after university to be part of the London 2012 Olympic Games - a movement and a moment I shared a deep connection and affection for. London has since become my home, and over the last 11 years I've had the privilege of working with Stella Creasy MP, the National Union of Students, the late great Dame Tessa Jowell, and a whole host of incredible individuals, organisations and communities making change happen all over the UK, as part of my 'day job'.
I'm privileged to get to work with leaders in creating better organisations - ones truly capable of shaping the future of business and democracy. It's through this that I have developed a believe that good work is not just rewarding, but purposeful and I see a better future as something we have to work hard towards, never relying on just hope alone to make things better. I hope to be able to continue to play my part in making the world a better place for some time to come as yet.
But lastly, no, Alan Partridge is not a relation.