Vanessa trained in Theatre Design at Birmingham City University, gaining experience with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal Ballet. After graduating she went on to work in costume, assisting with productions for theatre and television, and in her spare time assisted with set design and building at The Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa.
Vanessa has been at The Theatre since 2009, and co-directed the Take Part department from 2017 to 2021, alongside Anne Gill. Since April 2021, Vanessa took the role as Take Part Director, and, with her team, has led the department back to full operations after The Theatre's pandemic closure. Vanessa oversees the full Take Part programme and The Theatre's outreach work led by Clare O’Hara. Alongside Anne, she pioneered The Theatre's Relaxed Performance scheme, now a staple of the The Theatre's annual programme.