Outside interests

Tall ship crewing

I have guest-crewed several times on the Lord Nelson and Tenacious, two tall ships that were run by the Jubilee Sailing Trust charity before its demise. More recently, I guest-crewed on Oosterschelde, a Dutch three-masted schooner.

Lord Nelson on STW9 voyage, North Atlantic
Lord Nelson on our epic Recife-Halifax voyage, North Atlantic in 2014. Here heading towards Canada.

The ethos of the Jubilee Sailing Trust was to enable all to crew together, whatever their physical abilities.

2015-04-07 16.36.06
Valerie doing a ‘sea stow’ (and still waving!) in the middle of the Atlantic

My most memorable and epic 6-week voyage: sailing from Recife in Brazil to Halifax in Canada on Lord Nelson. I have also done voyages in the Caribbean, the Azores and sailed from Fiji to Sydney on Tenacious. 

Voyage on Lord Nelson from Brazil to Canada (2014)
In the South Pacific, somewhere between New Caledonia and Sydney
In the South Pacific, somewhere between New Caledonia and Sydney (2016)
Voyage from Fiji to Australia on Tenacious (July 2016)


In January 2022, I sailed on Oosterschelde around the Cape Verde Islands.



I am passionate about travelling independently around the world and since my retirement, I have done two 6-week long trips: to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand in 2023, and to Sri Lanka in 2024.

Games Maker Choir

I sang for many years with the Games Maker Choir, a choir formed of volunteers from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. We were lucky enough to perform at Wembley Stadium, Twickenham Stadium and at the Olympic Park amongst other venues. In 2015, we sang anthems at two of the Rugby Union World Cup matches. In 2017, we performed at the opening ceremony of the IAAF World Athletics championship and in 2018 at the Women’s World Hockey championships.

Games Maker Choir before our performance at Twickenham stadium (2015)


Singing anthems at Rugby World Cup quarter finals at Twickenham (17/10/2015)

Games Maker Choir showreel