Having been born and brought up in Scotland, Mary studied History and Politics at Glasgow University and gained a post-graduate teaching qualification. Mary then moved to London where she joined the civil service and spent her career in a number of Government Departments. These included the Departments of Energy and Trade and Industry, the Foreign Office and Cabinet Office.
During this period Mary began to lose her sight and when she was finally registered blind she took early retirement on health grounds. Mary was awarded an OBE in 2000 for her voluntary work with disabled people employed in Whitehall and for work on innovation.
In retirement, Mary took part in community events speaking on behalf of disabled and elderly people. She was then asked to stand as a local Councillor in Kingston Upon Thames and served in this capacity between 2010 and 2014, being elected Mayor in 2012-13. Throughout this period Mary was the Royal Borough’s Disability Champion.
Mary has been a Trustee of Thomas Pocklington Trust since 2015, and chairs the Trust’s Services Sub-Committee. She also chairs a number of Committees in Kingston which are supported by the Trust. Mary was previously a Trustee of the Surrey Association for the Blind (SAVI now Sight in Surrey), the Kingston Association for the Blind and the Kingston Council for Independent Living. Mary is also a Trustee of SeeAbility.
Mary is married with two adult children and her hobbies include theatre, opera and cooking.