If you had asked me 6 months ago about what I would be doing on 12th March 2017, it would have been recovering from our friends 40th birthday.

6 months ago I was preparing to interview for a new job as Therapy lead at St Barnabas hospice in Worthing, a job I had been waiting about 3 years for!

I found out at the end of October following interview that I was successful in getting the job.

A week later, Matt sat me down and said “now I need to talk to you about something….” He then proceeded to tell me how he had applied for a job as Director of Safeguarding on the island of St Helena. He said despite thinking he wouldn’t, he had an interview the following week.

He said “I’m not going for it if you are not up for it as there is no point”

I had never even heard of St Helena before, so we googled it and Matt told me what he knew so far, he had been in touch with officials from the island already for information.

He told me about the 5 day journey on the RMS St Helena, how it would be very difficult for visitors to come and see us as it only leaves Cape town every 3 weeks, how it is the 5th most remote Island in the world, there is very limited internet access and no mobile phones…..

Surprisingly none of this put me off (which Matt was quite shocked about). Matt has previously asked me to look at moving abroad, he had the opportunity to work as a social worker in Australia a few years ago, however my reaction was ” Don’t be ridiculous, I would at least need to visit a place first before I decide to live there!” I think in hindsight I was not ready to look at making such a big move.

None of this seemed to matter when he told me about St Helena, I just said “Go for the interview and we’ll and we’ll see what happens……”

“What about your job?” Matt Said

“Your Timing is impeccable” I replied “but this is too good an opportunity to pass up.”

I was sworn to secrecy in case nothing came of it, not easy for me I can assure you! I did tell one of my friends and swore her to secrecy too, not an easy secret to keep but she did me proud! We discussed it during our exercise class and I told her when the interview was, we all waited with baited breath.

Matt Went to London to the St Helena Embassy for  a day of tests and a 2 hour interview  complete with skype link to the Island. There were four strong candidates he reported when I phoned him on his way home, “we’ll see” he said.

Well as you can probably just about guess, he got the job!!… I had taken the children for their swimming lesson at the local pool, when I got the text:

“Oh my God”

“Oh my God”


and I thought “oh my god, he’s got it! looks like we are moving!”

Since that day it has felt like the right decision to make, and plans have moved smoothly along. We packed up and rented out our house and we’ve left our jobs in England  behind. We are going to experience a different life and culture, whilst still part of a British colony and we are giving our children an amazing opportunity.

The last week has been the most challenging, saying goodbye to friends and family, realising how well liked and loved we are as a family by other people and how much the school are going to miss our children has been makes me very grateful.

We are very lucky to have each other and we are going to have a great time I just know it.

We will keep you posted!

Jo, Matt, Isaac, Ruby and Archie