I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. My family moved to Scotland for a year in 1969. After another year living in Kandy, Sri Lanka, we came back to Britain and I grew up in Brentwood, Essex. Both my parents worked in the NHS: my father was a psychiatrist and my mother worked as a geriatric nurse. My father was a staunch supporter of the NHS and refused to take on any private work as he felt that would compromise and undermine the NHS. I did a Masters degree in mechanical engineering at Southampton University. Then I went on to teach English as a foreign language in Italy, Oxford and China. After becoming a chartered accountant, I worked for over 20 years with UK charities: Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Act!onAid, Breast Cancer Care, British Red Cross and now RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). I also serve as a lay member on the governing body of Hammersmith and Fulham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and chair its finance and performance committee, helping to ensure NHS funds are used effectively. I have been involved on the boards of charity umbrella bodies such as Charity Finance Group and Charity Tax Group. Currently, I chair CFG's large charities group of finance directors promoting improved financial performance in UK charities. I have lived in London for over 20 years in Leyton, High Barnet, Finchley (North, East and West), Golders Green and now Muswell Hill. In spite of housing costs, London is a fantastic, cosmopolitan place to live.