Vanessa started her career as a teacher of modern languages. She joined the European Parliament as a European civil servant in 1973 (on the UK’s accession to the then EEC) and subsequently worked for a French consulting engineering company in charge of their projects in the English-speaking world. She was also a Director of British Wastewater Limited, a co-ordinating company for a major project in Cairo, Egypt (funded by ODA Aid and Export Credits) from its inception to completion. From the mid-1990’s she was a Director of two small companies involved in project development work in the UK and continental Europe.
She was a Council Member of the youth charity Fairbridge which provided developmental courses for inner city young people at risk. The Fairbridge model was later absorbed into The Prince’s Trust. She is a member of the Council of The Yehudi Menuhin School and Chairman of YMS Enterprises, the commercial arm of the School, and is a director of a freehold company running a block of flats in central London. She has also served as a Council member of a major public school and as a member of the PCC of her local church.