We’ve had a totally Mad May with fundraising events galore but, as always, we’d love to share the latest edition of Cedar Garden Sessions with you. 

This month, Hannah, our Brand & Web Marketing Officer, is interviewing Rob Crosby about his role as Service Resource Leader, as part of the Facilities Team at Penny Brohn UK.

Hi Rob, thanks for making the time to come down and speak to us for this month’s Cedar Garden Sessions. And what a beautiful day we have managed to pick! 

No problem! It’s certainly nicer weather than this time last month, so I’m lucky.

You’re right – we were wrapped up in winter coats for the last edition. So Rob, how did you come to work for Penny Brohn? Do I remember you starting as a volunteer here?

Yes that’s right! I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was looking for voluntary work and she had been a client here, was very positive about her experiences here and said Penny Brohn were always looking for volunteer support. So I began as a Bookings volunteer in August 2015, I then applied for an Admin Assistant part time role working in the Services department in October 2015.  In May 2016 my manager left the organisation so I became full-time to support the team, and then was promoted to the lead role in November 2016.

Ah that’s fantastic. So what exactly does you current role involve?

I lead a small team of Administrators and Volunteers that support our Services department in the design, implementation and delivery of all courses, groups and appointments in the National Centre and in our Regional work. This means we are involved in most stages of a client journey through our services, creating courses etc., creating the materials, supporting the therapists and facilitators and processing all of the paperwork once clients have attended anything at the centre or in the Regions. I also look after the appointment books for our counselling team, handling clients for the charity as well as those referred to us through the NHS. I have a 25 year history in IT Service Management, so often find those skills drawn on most days. Lastly, I co-ordinate our team of volunteer drivers who assist clients in getting to the centre when they have no other means of getting here to attend courses etc.

That’s an eclectic job description! So what would you say is your favourite part of the job? 

I thoroughly enjoy working with the volunteer drivers.  They are a brilliant group of people and a pleasure to work with, and the outcome is so positive as it means that some people that might not normally be able to get here and take part in our courses or attend valuable appointments are able to do so.  The drivers average approx. 10,000 miles a year driving in the region of 800-1000 clients in and around Bristol so that is very rewarding.

Wow! What an amazing team. I had no idea just how many miles they put in. We’re lucky to have them! Is there any particular moment that stands out to you as a highlight of working for Penny Brohn so far?

No particular moment as there are so many … after 25 years in the corporate IT world every day here is like a breath of fresh air and I enjoy what I do and seeing that it makes a difference.

I bet! I think that’s the common ground that a lot of us feel here. I certainly feel very lucky to be able to make a difference where I can. 

It’s great yeah.

So finally, that all important question. Dunkable biscuits! What’s your favourite?

1. Custard Cream
2. Caramel Chocolate Digestive
3. Hobnob
4. Regular Digestive
5. Fox’s Creams

Oh now that’s a tough choice and entirely depends on the drink. So, Digestives – plain not chocolate – in Milk, Custard Creams in Hot Chocolate, Fox’s Creams in Tea and Hobnobs in (weak) Orange Squash.

Biscuits in Orange Squash!! Now I’ve heard everything! [Laughs] 

Weak orange squash mind. But yeah it’s great. 

Each to their own I suppose…

Despite his unconventional choice of dunking biscuits, I want to thank Rob for joining me in May’s Cedar Garden sessions. The biscuit leader board is remaining well and truly stable this week with Fox’s Creams coming in at number 5. 

We’ll be back here with another member of the Penny Brohn team next month. So keep an eye out for the next edition.

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