After leaving school Phyllis emigrated to Australia where she lived in Adelaide for 3 years working as a secretary to a quantity surveyor before returning back to the UK. She is married to Bob Parris who also volunteers as 1st mate. They have 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
As the children grew up Phyllis had several jobs which included mushroom picking, school assistant and receptionist in a doctor’s surgery. She finally worked at GlaxoSmithKline which at the time was still Beecham Pharmaceuticals.
Phyllis joined CanalAbility in 2007 after being made redundant at GSK and taking early retirement after 17 years. She trained to be a crew member, also taking on the role of maintaining the stores supply as she had worked in procurement at GSK. She then progressed to working in the office covering when either of the other Administrators are on holiday or out the office for any other reason.
She has also travelled some of the waterways in the UK as she owns her own canal boat and has a fair bit of boating knowledge.