Many of you will know Julie as our member of team who responds to enquiries and is the heart of business support at YPWD. She has kindly taken part in our Q&A interview in this edition with some very interesting responses.
How would our readers know you already and can you describe what you do for YPWD?
People may recognise my name as I am the one sending them lots of emails. Some people will have seen me at workshops as I sometimes provide cover if needed. I’ve also been at lots of the social and fundraising events that YPWD have hosted over the last few years. My role at YPWD is varied but mainly I work behind the scenes to help the charity run smoothly. I am responsible for HR for all the staff so make sure our training is up to date, that we are complying with health and safety requirements and general admin such as new starters, leavers and everything inbetween.
I look after building maintenance, ensure all our bills are paid for things like venue hire, help with the fundraising and social media.
What would you say you say is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I love seeing those that attend our workshops getting so much out of them, and all the positive feedback we receive.
What would you say is the most challenging part of the job?
As the job is quite varied, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which task takes priority.
As the Office Manager you’ve had to do a great deal of home working in the past year how have you found this and do you long to get back to the YPWD HQ?
It was difficult when we first started working from home as it was something I’d never done before and space was at a premium at home with three other adults working from home as well! However, we’ve all sorted ourselves out with the help of something as simple as a whiteboard that shows when we need a quiet area for meetings etc. I am enjoying not travelling during rush hour but looking forward to going back to the office. You feel much more involved when you can speak to your colleagues in person rather than having to organise a Zoom meeting.
If you had to describe the charity to someone in three words – what words would they be and why?
Fun, Creative and Caring. Workshops are fun and everyone works hard to bring new ideas to give maximum enjoyment for everyone who takes part . Staff really care about the attendees, their families and everyone involved with YPWD.
Where have you worked before YPWD and what did you do?
I worked in the memory clinic at Wokingham Hospital for 13 years, providing admin support to the all the Health Care Professionals there. I’ve worked for Bracknell Council in a Sheltered Housing Scheme, as an Emergency Duty Officer and as a secretary in the Landscape Department. Other jobs have included four years with Volvo Cars and six years in the Ambulance Service.
What is your favourite meal and why?
I don’t really have a favourite meal but the two most important foods to me are potatoes and chocolate. I love both and am happy whatever form they are in.
Are you able to tell us what your favourite film or TV show or book is and why?
Favourite TV shows are The Office USA and Gavin and Stacey. Both are written brilliantly with so many things going on. You see more each time you watch them. More recently I’ve been watching Schitt’s Creek. I also love anything with Louis Theroux. He covers so many different subjects and puts such a great spin on them. Reality shows such as I’m a Celebrity are great fun too.
Do you have any interests, hobbies, life experiences or skills that would surprise people?
I appeared on live television when I was about 10. My primary school had a school bank that pupils could use to learn about saving etc and a few of us attended an exhibition in Southampton to show the public what we did, and a TV company asked us to go on television that night. I got paid £2.
Cat or dog and why?
Neither. If I had to have one, it would be a dog but that won’t be happening.
If you had the chance to give your younger self a piece of advice what would that be and why?
Do what you enjoy and don’t fret about material possessions. Life is too short to worry about having it all.
What’s the best birthday gift you’ve ever received and why?
Forget jewellery and anything sentimental. A few years ago I got given a heat pad which has a belt so you can put it on and it stays put, so much better than a hot water bottle. I love it.