Karen Penny, Children & Young People Project Officer

I am responsible for the Children and Young People Project in Kingston.

I have worked in the voluntary sector for 20 years, the first five as the publications manager for a national charity, two years as a freelancer while my daughter was very young, and then 13 years running Home-Start Kingston; supporting families with young children.

My background was originally graphic design which then morphed into working in marketing and on to writing, editing and translating medical jargon into English in the form of patient information, ‘how to’ manuals and leaflets. Becoming a mum changed my priorities and the move to working at Home-Start, training and matching volunteers to work with struggling families became my passion. This also enabled me to see the voluntary sector in our borough from a new perspective, and to fully appreciate the vast range and high quality of services and support that our sector offers.

When not acting as a taxi service for my now teenage daughter, I like to spend time with friends and to read (especially Stephen King and fantasy novels) and listen to music. A perfect weekend would involve an i-pod, a kindle, a never ending cup of hot tea while sat, feet up, on the couch with my husband.