A Midlands girl, Rachel went to the local comprehensive school and is a working Mum with four grown up children and two rescue dogs, Phoebe & Herbie. She’s a Midlands girl through and through, and has spent most of her life in the region. Rachel promised to move her family home to Redditch where she’s now been living since January 2018.
Rachel has a background in business, after she married her husband David, they set up a Birmingham based publishing company, specialising in IT and software content. Over the years she faced the challenges and setbacks that many small business owners experience, but the business eventually flourished and now employs people from all over the Midlands area including Redditch people, as well as having an international presence.
She’s a technology entrepreneur who also recently co-founded an HR software business, providing a platform for SMEs to use the latest technology tools to run their businesses more efficiently. The business was selected to participate in the Entrepreneurial Spark programme in Birmingham.
Rachel has always worked in her local community since she started at age 16 helping inner city children come on summer camps to Alvechurch. Over the years she has been a voluntary worker and fundraiser for the National Childbirth Trust, a Sunday School Teacher, as well as spending 15 years as a Beaver, Cub, Scout Leader and Assistant District Commissioner for Cubs. She completed a term as an elected Parent Governor at a Birmingham school, with responsibility for the curriculum area. She helped set up the LoveBrum charity supporting grassroots volunteer-led charities that don’t receive government funding.
She started her charity, Skilled and Ready, because she has always been passionate about helping young people get the best start in life. She believes that a great education is the key to fulfilling potential and she said, “Skilled and Ready fits a real need. Having run a business I’ve seen the skills gap for real. We link the skills needed by local employers to the curriculum. We help to open young people’s eyes to the opportunities here for them and also to support them making the right choices. I’m delighted that schools across the country have recently put hundreds of learners through the Skilled and Ready which will help them get a good job after they leave school”
First elected in 2017 as the Member of Parliament for Redditch, the Alexandra Hospital has been and continues to be Rachel’s top priority. Rachel has lobbied tirelessly for the Alex to receive the funding it was promised in 2017.
After being re-elected in December 2019, Rachel has promised to continue to campaign to see maternity and children’s services returned to the Alex. The people of Redditch have never and will never accept that these services have been removed, and Rachel will continue the fight to get these services back where they belong.
In February 2020, Rachel was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to serve as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport. During her 18 months as Minister for the Future of Transport and Decarbonisation, Rachel worked on and published the Government’s landmark plan to decarbonise the whole of transport to meet the UK’s ambitious and essential carbon reduction targets.
Following the Government reshuffle in September 2021, Rachel was asked by the Prime Minister to move from the Department for Transport to the Home Office to serve as Minister for Safeguarding. Rachel’s ministerial responsibilities include modern slavery and the national referral mechanism, domestic abuse, violence against women and girls including female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage and child sexual abuse and exploitation.