GET TO KNOW: Richard Whitehouse, ops director, Handicare Accessibility

Richard Whitehouse Handicare crop

How long have you worked for your current employer and how did you get into the industry?

I started at Handicare as a temp on 4 July 2016 after a career in engineering and manufacturing. But in all honesty, there is something much more special about what we do at Handicare where we genuinely set out to make everyday life easier for so many people.

What’s your biggest achievement in the industry to date?

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It’s far less my achievement and more that of our team. They are a brilliant bunch of people and have dramatically reduced our manufacturing lead-time, to a point where we can make a rail from scratch in three days.

What do you most enjoy about working in the industry?

We call our customers ‘Doris’ or ‘Ken’ and the thought that we help them stay in their homes and we do our best every day to look after them is a pretty good feeling.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I admit that I am a complete gym junkie, but I am also a complete nerd so reading (mostly history) is always good.

If you could invite any four people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be?

Easy. Winston Churchill; imagine the experiences to learn from! Roy Chadwick and Tommy Flowers – I need an engineer or two on the list and Jonny Wilkinson. I used to play scrum half and the chance to practice passing to the master would be too good to miss.

Which other company (inside or outside the industry) do you most admire and why?

Probably the F1 teams, but not for the reason you think. I find it impressive how they are never satisfied and can develop and update their technology in an incredibly controlled way in the two weeks between races never mind between seasons. That is culture, not just engineering.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

From my dad when I graduated, and he told me: ‘Now you really start learning and don’t ever stop.’

Tell us something about yourself that none of your colleagues know?

I have written a book (in fact, more than one!)

Favourite food: Chicken jalfrezi
Favourite drink: Peroni
Favourite holiday destination: Rome
Favourite band / music artist: Queen
Favourite film: Man in the White Suit
Favourite book: HG Wells collection
Favourite TV show: Game of Thrones
Favourite shop: WH Smith
Favourite gadget: iPad
Favourite thing you own: My grandad’s watch

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