Karen Murray lives near Thirsk, in the beautiful county of North Yorkshire. She began her career as a nurse in the 1970’s and had plans to see the world, but she only got as far as Germany!
After a variety of roles within nursing and social care, Karen began working with adults with learning disabilities in 1998. Her various roles since then include working as a job coach enabling people into work, supporting people with a learning disability to train their support staff (whilst working for United Response) supporting self-advocacy groups and managing a self-advocacy service (Talkback UK) in York and across North Yorkshire.
During her time with Talkback UK, Karen also set up and managed a drama group, helping members to develop and write their scripts, and deliver theatre forum style drama performances across North Yorkshire. These performances helped raise awareness of some of the issues faced by people with learning disabilities.
Now self-employed, Karen works with a number of learning disability organisations across North Yorkshire, developing her own resources and using her creative skills to get people talking and thinking about issues that are important to them.
In 2012, when searching for a book to read with groups of adults with a learning disability, Karen first had the idea for Magnolia Street. Unable to find a story book that was written for, and about, adults with a learning disability which included issues to get people talking, Karen decided to write the book herself.