Gay was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne and has lived near Morpeth for 47 years. Gay is married with 2 children, 2 step children and 8 grandchildren. In 1966 she joined the family business working in all departments then became a director of the company and finally was responsible for personnel and training. In 1978 she and her husband started a saddlery business in Morpeth taking early retirement 18 years later. For the past 10 years to date she has been a director/partner of an award-winning food hall, gift shop and cafe situated just outside Ingleton in North Yorkshire. She believes that everyone should have a second chance which is the very ethos of The Oswin Project.