Moving into more autumnal climes, Cedar Garden Sessions is back and as always, Hannah, Brand & Web Marketing Officer, is interviewing 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.
This month, Hannah speaks with Comms comrade, Kim Creus, who works in the brand new role of Information & Communication Officer for the Comms & Marketing Team.
Hi Kim, thanks for leaving our nice warm office to join me outside. Despite the chill in the air it is a particularly nice day today, so I think we have been lucky!
Absolutely! It’s nice to get out in the fresh air.
So tell me, how did you come to work for Penny Brohn?
Well, I moved to Bristol early last year with my husband and bravely took on the challenge of commuting from Bristol to London so I could continue working for Living Streets, the previous place I worked.
Ouch – that’s not a fun commute!
No… I very quickly realised that regular long distance commuting is not for me as I value my life/work balance very highly, although I did get to read a lot of books.
Ah not all bad then! So what made you take this job specifically?
Well, I love working in the charity sector so I kept an eye out for communications roles in health charities in the area. In early 2018 this role popped up. I came across the job ad on the train from Brighton to London on the way back from my friend’s hen do, the main activity was running Brighton Half! I noticed in panic that the closing date for applications was the next morning.
That isn’t the ideal situation after having just done a half marathon! [Laughs]
[Laughs] Exactly! It took a lot of willpower to finish that application when all I wanted to do was nap, eat and take a bath (preferably all at the same time) but I had a good feeling about the role and the charity and didn’t want to miss the chance to apply for it so I thankfully persevered. I think about how close I came to not applying for the role a lot and I give myself a mental pat on the back every time.
Well we’re lucky you went for it! It seems weird me asking this because I sit next to you but, what does your new role involve? [Laughs]
[Laughs] Well, it’s pretty varied as it does involve your day-to-day communications responsibilities such as designing materials, writing content for various channels and so on but it also involves a bit of marketing and strategy and about half of my role is information-based. That area of my role involves reviewing the evidence based information sheets, which help people living with cancer make informed decisions about their care. Along with that I prepare blogs about our advances in research and evaluation, which grows our support and builds trust in what we do so we can continue to help as many people living with cancer as possible.
Great – and what would you say is the most exciting thing you are working on currently?
I’m about to design a lovely looking report on the research Helen Seers did about the impact our Living Well course has on cancer survivors’ employment (in a nutshell how we help cancer survivors return to work). Not only do I get to play around with our brand but it’s also fascinating research and I love the opportunity to showcase that we have an in-house research and evaluation team.
And pretty great they are too!
Totally! It’s pretty unique in our area of charity to have a dedicated research team and we have a lot to be proud of and show off to the world. Once the report is designed and looking smart I’ll be able to ponder ways to get that out to the general public so they too can realise that the Bristol Whole Life Approach and Penny Brohn changes lives.
Well said! So, is there a particular highlight of your Penny Brohn career so far?
I haven’t been here very long but a lot has happened already! A definite highlight was sitting in on the Living Well course in August. It meant a great deal to me that both the facilitators and attendees allowed me to be a part of their group. It’s so important for me to be able to understand what goes on during one of our core services so I can better talk about it and ensure that as many people as possible hear about what we do and choose to turn to us when they need our help.
Yes it is great that we get to see the courses we provide first hand, so that we can properly understand what we’re all about. So onto that evermore controversial
question, favourite dunking biscuit. Go!
Oooh I’m not a big biscuit eater…
Ah another non-biscuit appreciator!
[Laughs] …Mainly because I have no self-control and have been known to eat an entire pack in one sitting so it’s better for me to remove temptation. However, should I have a biscuit in hand to sully my cup of tea it would be either be a Penguin Bar or Stroop Waffle (I am from Belgium after all).
Penguin bar!! Game changer! I hadn’t even considered a Penguin bar… that has got to take the top spot!
I know! I can’t believe no one has considered it yet.