In 2005, Karen took up a post at Birmingham City Council, initially as senior manager for the deprived Ladywood constituency. Whilst serving in the role, Karen established the award-winning pilot scheme for ‘Gym for Free’, in conjunction with a colleague from Heart of Birmingham PCT. This would later be rolled out as a city-wide ‘Be active’ programme. Karen was asked to project manage the scheme on behalf of partners throughout Birmingham, which went live on 1st September 2009, before quickly going on to win national and international awards.

Karen is now Head of Community Sport and Healthy Lifestyles at Birmingham City Council. She works with the Local Government Agency (LGA) on member training sessions and is a regular speaker at conferences and training sessions on the links between health, wellbeing and sport.