What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a professional McKenzie Friend at Family Law Decisions Ltd, providing assistance to parents who are involved in family court matters in private law proceedings.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
Volunteering both part- and full-time for around 14 years. Personal circumstances meant I needed the assistance of another McKenzie Friend in 2002. I then started volunteering to help others in my spare time to try to give something back. It became a habit I very much enjoyed, and demand led to eventually going professional and giving up my job in the City.
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
The vast majority of parents whose cases I am involved in are trying to do their best for their children. I regularly meet parents who have given up so much for their children and who are quite often dealing with tremendously difficult circumstances, very often through no fault of their own.
I have also been genuinely fortunate to work with some extraordinary people over the years, some of whom have given much effort, skill, knowledge and time for no recompense or relatively little for many years to help people and their children.
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
It's a cliché, but every day really is different. I suppose generally the best part is completing preparation for a case, and the worst part is collating all the information for a case. Once started, it then usually becomes engrossing and distractions do not often register.
As part of this feature we are asking a wide range of people who have links to the court system and family law to respond to the above questions and give us some information about what their role entails. We hope to get a wide cross section of people–to this end, if you would like to contribute please firstname.lastname@example.org