What’s your role at Groop?
I am the Chief of Staff at Groop. It is a role which I have grown into with 15 years’ experience working as the ‘right hand’ to our CEO, Sally Higham.
I am a founding member of the Groop organisation and provide support to the senior leadership team, helping to troubleshoot and keep a handle on the daily needs of Groop. This includes freeing up the CEO and the senior team so they can focus on what they need to do.
What does a typical day look like?
I don’t have such a thing as a typical day. One day will see me leaving the house at 4am for a conference, another day I will be in the office supporting the Senior Team, Sales Team and the Development Team.
My position sees me working on projects, organisation development, people management, training/development, and everything in between!
What’s your background?
I am a qualified engineer, a background which is super useful when building things at home but didn’t directly filter through to my career.
I have 20 (did I say that out loud?) years’ experience supporting new venture start-ups. This has seen me help companies, local authorities, schools and charities to grow. I have a passion for tech, coupled with years of volunteering in schools, charities and communities.
What skills do you need for your job?
I find that being a ‘doer’ has helped a great deal. I like to get things done and find solutions. That’s very much the view of all of us here.
My volunteering experience has always been key to the Groop organisation, it gives me a greater understanding of what our users need.
We designed and built Groop on a strong business foundation in partnership with our knowledge and experience of running clubs, groups and volunteering in our local communities.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working with the amazing team here. I’m extremely proud of us all. Together we have supported Groop to experience a dramatic growth. This was, and still is, a huge achievement for each and every one of us here.
Our team is a variety of incredibly knowledgeable and skilled people who all have the same ethos and social goal at their core. I love this about us and our organisation.
We are making a difference one group at a time and supporting positive impact in our world.
How do you spend your spare time? (What volunteering do you do outside of work?)
I manage four little people and a dog – we enjoy walking, playing a huge amount of sport and some acting and drama. I’m enjoying watching them grow, being a part of their fast-changing lives and encouraging them to keep giving back to their communities, in whichever way they can. We are currently having a ‘war on plastic’ at home.
I volunteer at our local schools. I am involved in three different schools as part of the PTA and the fundraising committees. I also volunteer with the six different football clubs that we are involved with.
I am a Member of Pickwick Academy Trust, working to drive school improvement, encourage aspiration and innovation, and ensuring every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Any recommendations to share?
Can I recommend Fleabag (too risqué?)? I am loving the talent that is Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
A top read for me in the past 6 months is ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies’. This is a book that is about equality for all, not just women’s rights. It’s insightful and enlightening!
Or my Summer read last year – one of my all-time favourites, an epic heart-breaking, sad, funny, scary book that was so before its time, East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
What’s your biggest achievement?
In my career, it is being a part of Groop. It continues to be a journey and an adventure. We are everything I hoped we would be; an organisation that really does make a difference.
I feel lucky to be working alongside some incredible visionary people and to be continually learning – it keeps everything interesting!