I’m Alex Vernon, a writer, mum of two young daughters and devoted owner of the gorgeous Rosie (Staffies – they’re softer than you think). I live with my family in the Wye Valley, where the phone signal is dodgy but the views are beautiful!
I’ve been writing for charities since 2005. You can find dates and job titles on my Linkedin page. Here are some of my best bits:
- Working as an associate with the excellent Mile 91, interviewing and writing about dozens of interesting people from many different charities. My recent stories have featured an Arabic translator volunteering with the British Red Cross, a mum whose relationship with her son has been transformed by SeeAbility and a young woman who got through her cancer treatment with support from Teenage Cancer Trust and Lola, her devoted Golden Retriever.
- Again with Mile 91, producing 150 stories for the 150th anniversary of the TUC – one of the most fascinating projects of my career. Here’s a countdown of my top ten stories, starring match women in extravagant hats, an encounter with the real-life hero of one of my favourite films…and an inspirational tea towel.
- Getting day-making feedback from Victim Support staff about how my stories about their volunteers and clients made them feel proud to do their jobs. And here’s my blog that elaborates on this theme.
- Writing a ‘spirit of place’ statement for The National Trust. I went to Clent Hills to take in the sights, sounds and smells that make it a beloved destination for Black Country day trippers. I turned vegetarian aged 10 but I’ll confess that my mouth watered as I wrote about the sensational whiff of bacon butties wafting up the hill from the café…
- Through Bluebell, interviewing some incredibly honest and eloquent mums who had experienced postnatal depression. Here’s a blog about the lovely Hannah from Bluebell.
- Sitting at my desk at Motivation, picking up the phone to the Telegraph newspaper and hearing the brilliant news that they’d chosen us for their 2012 Christmas appeal. Here’s my blog with tips for applying for newspaper fundraising appeals.
- The Lady Mechanic Initiative in Lagos, Nigeria. An innovative new way to diagnose TB in Kampala, Uganda. Women farmers fattening crabs bound for tourists’ tummies on Zanzibar, Tanzania. During my five happy years at VSO, I was lucky enough to write stories about these fascinating projects, plus many more.
And just before you go, here are two useful things to know about me:
- The recorder I use for interviews gives me broadcast-quality audio and I’ve taught myself to edit it. So I can provide you with audio as well as written stories (though this works best if I’ve met my interviewee in person, rather than just over the phone).
- I’m not a photographer… but I’ve got a pretty good camera and can take some decent portraits if you need them. (For documentary photography and film, you need look no further than my comrades at Mile 91.)