Why did you become an Enterprise Adviser?
“I’ve spent the last 20 years after university working at the Cumberland Building Society. Working in various roles, I decided when my maternity leave was ending in 2022 that I wanted to pursue something more in the Third Sector, knowing the dedicated and valued work Third Sector organisations do for people in communities across our region. So I was excited to be joining the brand new Step Forward into Volunteering and Employment project, with Cumbria CVS, working with local employers and third sector organisations to support adults with severe mental health issues get into volunteering or work experience and hopefully find a pathway into paid employment opportunities on a local level. My main goals are to help offer that support and encourage people reach their potential, in pursuing a future that means something to them, something that helps them achieve their own aspirations – whatever they may be. Something I’m really passionate about, helping make a genuinely positive difference and help create positive outcomes for people in our local communities. I strive to do this by working with not only my own teams, but with other groups and organisations from across the region, whether public, private or third sector. I especially value the strong, reciprocal relationships I’ve been able to build as this has given me a better understanding of what matters to people in our region. This understanding helps me to take things back to our own business so we can continually improve the service and experience we provide to our customers, internally and externally in the heart of our communities.
It’s all the above why I’m excited to be an Enterprise Advisor, joining an existing network of voluntary Enterprise Advisors, who are already making a really positive difference for young people across our region.”
Tell us about your chosen career or career pathway to your current role
“I grew up and went to school in Carlisle. I then went on to study at Lancaster University, where I gained a 2.1 degree in Educational Studies. When I finished university, I returned back to Carlisle, as I knew I wanted to live and build a career in the region I grew up in.
Working for a large, local business gave me a wealth of experience in different areas, including time within our Customer Service Teams, three years in the HR Team and over 8 years in Marketing. Now, working for Cumbria CVS I’m keen to strengthen the pathways available to people in our local area.
My current role, Mental Health Volunteering and Employment Officer is varied, but also focused on supporting those with Severe Mental Health Experiences (SMHE) to access volunteer and paid work opportunities by investing in skill development, training, and sourcing or providing tailored work readiness programs, in partnership with a number of Mental Health providers in North Cumbria. I’m also involved in the strategic development of the project, the improvements, learnings and barriers we face, in addition to supporting the marketing and communications to raise awareness of what we’re doing across North Cumbria. Over the years, I’ve become even more committed to delivering on my purpose, to help make a positive difference and strive to do this by building those strong, reciprocal relationships.”
What careers advice would you give to your 16 year-old self?
“Be yourself and don’t be hard on you for the decisions you make at this stage. You may not exactly know 100% what direction you want to take yet, figuring things out can take time and often be a team effort, so reach out and speak to others – your friends, family or connect with people whose career is something you are interested in or curious about to find out more.”
What do you like/love best about living and working in Cumbria?
“I love being part of communities that care. Without sounding cheesy, it is like the theme tune to the classic comedy Cheers, ‘You want to go to a place where everyone knows your name’. There is so much on our doorstep, much more than people often realise and excitingly, so many amazing projects coming up, which will help shape the future of an already powerhouse of a region. A region full of incredible people, places, businesses, community groups – all creating such an impact to make a lasting, sustainable difference, and I love that about where we live.”
|Job Title:||Mental Health Volunteering and Employment Officer|
|Sector:||Third Sector (Voluntary Services)|
|Key Skills:||Planner, strong communicator, strategic thinker, relationship builder, mental health and wellbeing advocate|
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