Verna was a teacher and head of a primary school in York until her retirement in 2003. She subsequently acted as an educational performance management adviser for Cambridge Education Associates. She is currently vice-chair of governors at a York school as well as chair of both staffing and curriculum committees. Verna was the initiator and driving force behind CABYS (The Campaign Against Barriers at York Station) and thus can be said to be partly responsible for the fact that York is the only station on the West Coast without barriers. She has also been active in Fulford, serving as Chair of the Parish Council, Chair of Fulford Show and Treasurer and Secretary of Fulford in Bloom. Verna is Chair of the Civic Trust Education committee and was responsible for introducing the annual Primary and Secondary Public Speaking Competitions. She also chairs the Small Spaces Enhancement Group and was the principal facilitator of the creation of All Saints Pocket Park.