It’s that time again – can you believe we’re on our March edition of Cedar Garden Sessions, where as always, Hannah, Digital and Web Manager, interviews a member of the Penny Brohn UK team to find out more about them and the work they do behind the scenes to keep our services up and running.
Thanks for joining me out here on this chilly day, Dida. So tell me, how did you come to work for Penny Brohn?
[Laughs] Well, it may sound corny but I really do think fate brought me here!
Well, I had literally just moved to Ham Green from Cornwall and was having a break from unpacking boxes, walking the dog with my daughter, when we came across the main entrance [of the National Centre]. I was intrigued as to what went on in that beautiful house and a place that supported people to live well with cancer sounded amazing. I was about to look for a job that really meant something and where I could use the mix of skills I have gained through the years in a really worthwhile environment. As soon as we got home I looked it up on the website and lo and behold the Centre Manager job was going and the deadline was midnight that night!! I spent five hours that evening doing my application and… here I am!
Wow, that does sound like fate, you’re right! So what does your role involve?
Well, no two days are the same that’s for sure [laughs].
[Laughs] I can imagine!
As Centre Manager I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the Centre. I check that everything is in place for the day for the clients and for our external visitors, that all the Facilities staff are happy and well and have no issues or concerns, sometimes there will be major projects to oversee and other times it will be a case of troubleshooting. In a big busy Centre there are so many things that can occur unexpectedly and, as you can imagine it needs plenty of looking after!
Absolutely, it’s certainly not a small task! So, what’s the most exciting thing you are working on at the moment?
Mmmm, not too many actually exciting things happen in Facilities!
Oh I’m sure that can’t be true!
I have just been made responsible for Client Contributions, so the thought that I could perhaps make a difference with that is exciting! I am currently training to be a Living Well Facilitator, which is very special, so I’m combining my knowledge of the Centre with my growing knowledge of Services to hopefully help grow client donations.
Great! What does that involve?
I’ll be talking to the clients during their time with us and thinking of ways that we can encourage well-needed donations within the Centre. If anyone has any inspired ideas I would love to hear from them [laughs]!
[Laughs] What would you say is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is without doubt when I feel I have made a difference or helped someone in some way, whether it be one of my staff, a client or colleague. I also enjoy the fact that I get to deal with most people here and am not just at my desk all day. My role is gradually becoming more and more integrative across the Centre and that is great.
You are always up and about around the centre. That must be lovely! Is there a moment that stands out to you as a particular highlight of your time at Penny Brohn?
I have enjoyed many moments since I started here just over a year ago, but I do remember a feeling of sheer happiness and pride as I walked across the lawn on the Garden Open Day last summer. The sun was shining, children were paddling in the fountain, the choir were singing and everyone just looked so happy. I thought to myself ‘wow’ what an amazing place to work and pinched myself that I was really the Centre Manager for Penny Brohn!
Ah, what a lovely memory. So, finally, what is your favourite dunkable biscuit?
Without doubt it’s got to be a Gingernut!
Another Gingernut fan!
I haven’t actually dunked for ages, I must get back into the habit…..