- My dad worked in the steel works and I was born right here in Sheffield
- I left school at the age of 16 because at that time, people like me went to work, not to university. I worked as a library assistant here in our constituency.
- My first job was in Firth Park Library at the age of 16 (as a library assistant). I also worked in the libraries in Parson Cross and Burngreave.
- Over the years I worked at a building college in Shirecliffe, Sheffield College and in medical records at Northern General.
- I was a Councillor for Southey ward in our constituency for many years.
- Before I was an MP I was a councillor for 16 years. I served as a Cabinet Member for three years in charge of planning, regeneration, libraries, parks and waste management. I served on the Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, the Fire Rescue Authority, as Director of the Foxhill Forum and Director of Southey and Owlerton Regeneration Board.
- For almost my entire working life I have been a shop steward (in NALGO, now part of Unison). I stood up for often low paid workers here at the height of the Thatcher government.
- I got a second chance in education, obtaining a degree as a mature student on day release from work.