I loved my time at Portsmouth High School, and all my best friends are girls that I met during my time there. We stay in touch all the time, and regularly see each other , despite the different paths we took. Originally I wanted to be a doctor, and took Chemistry, Biology and Spanish A levels. I realised as I left school that this wasn’t what I wanted to do, although now many of my friends are now qualified dentists and doctors! So instead I took a journalism course, while at the same time doing random presenting jobs. Eventually I got offered a job at the Press Association building in Victoria, writing and presenting sports news for various different websites.
From that job I got offered further opportunities, presenting live Sports News on Setanta Sports, and from there SKY offered me the presenters position that I have today! I have also been lucky enough to present or be part of other TV shows, such as Splash! and I have co- hosted ITVs 71 Degrees North , with Paddy McGuinness. On 71 Degrees North we were lucky enough to spend a month in the arctic and it was a fantastic experience! I think I’m an example of someone who didn’t quite know for sure at an early age, what definite career path I was going to choose. I’m now a big believer that when you eventually decide, as long as you work hard, you will achieve your goals!
Meg Hillier, MP
Meg left PHS in 1987 and went to St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She then went into journalism and later became the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch after 8 years as a local councillor. She was the youngest ever Mayor of Islington in 1998/99. Meg served three years as a minister in the Home Office from 2007 (in which her areas of responsibility included passports and Europe so her High School A level French came in handy).
After the 2010 General Election Meg was elected to the Shadow Cabinet as shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. A year later Meg returned to the back benches and became a member of the Parliamentary public spending watchdog the Public Accounts Committee.
Meg is married with 3 children.
Katharine Vincent left PHS in 1997 and is currently a director of Kulima Integrated Development Solutions, a climate change adaptation consultancy, in South Africa. After leaving PHS Katharine went on to the University of Oxford and gained a BA Honours degree in Geography (First Class). In 2003 she completed her MRes Environmental Science Research (Distinction) at the University of East Anglia. In 2007 Katharine was awarded her PhD in Environmental Sciences and went on to be a Post Doctoral Fellow at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. During, and subsequent, to her PhD research she undertook a number of consultancies within the theme of ensuring sustainable development in the context of a changing climate, and then established Kulima Integrated
Development Solutions in early 2011. She works with various UN agencies (e.g. the UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme and Food and Agricultural Organisation), donors (Department for International Development, USAID and German Development Cooperation), and NGOs (CARE International, Oxfam, Save the Children, WWF) to raise awareness of the risks and opportunities of climate change and to support the development and implementation of policies and practices that ensure societal adaptation – primarily in Africa. She remains active in the international science community, and served as a Lead Author for the recently-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report; and currently holds a visiting position as an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Dr Jane Collins
Dr Jane Collins joined Marie Curie Cancer Care as Chief Executive in September 2012. Marie Curie is a major UK wide end of life charity providing care directly through employed staff and volunteers, supporting research into improving end of life care and through policy development. In 2013/2014 care was provided for around 40,000 people through our 9 hospices and UK wide nursing service.
Previously, she was Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust and the Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, for 11 years.
Dr Collins qualified in medicine at Birmingham University and held trainee posts in Birmingham, Southampton and London, becoming a consultant paediatric neurologist at Guy’s Hospital in 1991 and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in 1994. In both her clinical and management careers, she has focused on ways of improving the quality and safety of care, as well as helping to support new research and treatment programmes.
Since joining Marie Curie Dr Collins has focussed on how the organisation can better support more people with terminal illnesses and their families, recognising the increasing need of an aging population often with complex health problems.
Described as an unlikely entrepreneur Fleur studied medieval Spanish poetry at UCL, toured with a rock band and played poker for a living before starting her first business, Grasshopper Foods. Grasshopper, a range of portable porridge pots was an instant hit and went from concept to Waitrose in 18 months. Ever the gambler it wasn’t long before she decided to do it again, refinancing Grasshopper and stepping back to build craft lager company Green & Pleasant from the ground up and succeeding again with both her porridge and drinks ranges currently for sale at Whole Foods and Ocado. The same she year founded boutique design agency Emery Barnard which wins universal admiration for its stylish
product designs and branding. Fleur’s gunslinger approach to business and lively sense of humour make her a sought after event speaker and consultant to creative startups. Fleur has been described by tech millionaire Doug Richard as a role model for emerging businesswomen and by Grazia and in the Observer Future 500 List as one to watch. Fleur lives in Soho with her pugs Mr Beebe and Helen Schlegel but often returns to PHS taking a heart-felt interest in the life of the school.