Karen has worked across a number of fields including publishing, public sector management, probation, social work, homelessness and health and wellbeing. She has pioneered award-winning programmes that provide sports and other physical activity within communities. Those programmes are designed to improve physical and mental health, build community cohesion and complement more traditional approaches to health needs.
Karen set up the Wellbeing service of Birmingham City Council which built upon earlier community programmes with projects such as Active Parks, Big Birmingham Bikes and Active Streets. The Wellbeing service is now a community benefit society which Karen continues to lead. She also works with the Local Government Association and talks and trains widely on health, wellbeing and sport. She is active in her community as a school governor, chairing a local running club and Birmingham LGBT Pride and volunteers locally.