After graduating from the University of Leeds with a BSc in Psychology and Music in 2005 Jen Jones volunteered for seven months in a Romanian psychiatric hospital with the charity Volunteers for Mental Health (VfMH). She then spent six years working in the NHS and for Mind, where her work focused very much on empowering people to make positive changes in their lives. Simultaneously, Jen became involved in the running of VfMH in the UK, and became a director and trustee – a role which she enjoys to this day. Over the years Jen has been involved in project development, organising volunteer placements and recruiting and training new volunteers.
Jen has always been interested in world events and issues around peace and conflict, which led her to study for an MA in Conflict, Security and Development in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. There she became particularly interested in issues around gender, conflict sensitivity, local ownership and community engagement. Jen sees peace as being not just an issue at national and international levels, but also at individual and community levels, and she is particularly interested in projects which encourage community participation, which empower and give people the ability to create their own better futures.