- How long have you worked for your current employer and how did you get into the industry?
I have worked for Millbrook for four years now, after transferring from the NHS. I got into wheelchairs because I wanted to help people gain and retain independent mobility, with well supported posture. I was originally inspired by some disabled children that I cared for on respite holidays for the British Red Cross, where we would take them canoeing and abseiling in their wheelchairs. I loved how fearless and adventurous they were and I wanted to be part of enabling that.
- What’s the first thing you do when you get into work in the morning?
Make a cup of tea!
- What’s your biggest achievement in the industry to date?
I think it has to be completion of my MSc whilst continuing to work and being a parent to a 5 year old!
- What do you most enjoy about working in the industry?
I love that every day is different. It’s always challenging and I enjoy finding solutions for people. I also love that we are a whole of life service, so we really get to build a relationship with our clients over the years and see them change and develop.
- What’s the hardest part of your job?
There is a massive shortage of OT’s in the country, on top of that, there is a shortage of OTs with wheelchair experience, so it’s very difficult to recruit staff. Wheelchairs is a complex specialist area, so Therapists either love it or hate it, but there is a huge demand and therefore it can be really challenging keeping up with the workload because there aren’t enough of us.
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I live by the motto from Henry Fraser, a young man with a spinal cord injury who paints with a stick in his mouth. I have his painting above my desk at home “Always look at what you can do”. It’s simple and effective. No matter how hard a situation is, there is always something you can do.
- Which other company (inside or outside the industry) do you most admire and why?
I’m not sure I could narrow it down to one. There are so many providers in the world of posture and mobility and everyone has something different to contribute.
- Tell us something about yourself that none of your colleagues know?
I was in the audience at Top of the Pops when Marilyn Manson performed. At the end of his performance, he threw his microphone into the crowd – very rock and roll. It hit me in the face!
- If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy?
I would pack my bags, drive to the airport, close my eyes and point to a destination on the departures board, then buy a ticket there and keep going. I love to travel and explore new places.
- If you could invite any four people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be?
Bill Bailey – he would have great stories, is very funny and a talented percussionist, so it would be an entertaining evening.
Simon Reeve – I’ve been to his live show and read one of his books, followed a lot of his travel programmes. I love to travel too, so I think we’d have some interesting stories to share.
Derren Brown – I’ve always been intrigued by psychology and how the mind works, I love a good twist in a story or drama and I think he would be an interesting guest.
Struggling to think of a fourth person…
- What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to cook for friends and family. I also enjoy jewellery making classes and have made several pieces of silver jewellery and glass beaded bracelets and pendants.
- What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
I had a tickle fight with my 5 year old this morning!
IN A WORD
Favourite food: Macaroni cheese
Favourite drink: Hot chocolate
Favourite holiday destination: Too many to choose from! Kho Phangan in Thailand, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and New Zealand rate very highly!
Favourite band / music artist: Has to be Kylie Minogue!
Favourite film: The Blues Brothers
Favourite book: Johnathon Livingstone Seagull
Favourite TV show: I love any kind of drama with twists and cliff hangers.
Favourite shop: I don’t have one in particular, but I love to explore little independent shops for unique gifts.
Favourite gadget: Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser – it makes the perfect hot chocolate!
Favourite thing you own: My passport – I love to travel.