What are your areas of special interest / particular skills?
I have a passion for all things harm reduction. I enjoy developing and implementing innovative ways of getting harm reduction interventions and information out there. I have a particular special interest in needle exchange services and safer injecting – I started my substance misuse career as a volunteer in a needle exchange in Bath and fell in love with the work from day 1. I am also keen to screen as many people as we can for alcohol related brain damage. I am proactive in the reducing drug and alcohol related death agendas too.
What do you enjoy most about your role with Barod?
As a manager, I am in a privileged position where I can lead on influencing change. Barod is an organisation that doesn’t shy away from difficult or controversial topics and is happy to challenge the status quo if it means that it improves what we can offer for our service users. I love being part of a forward thinking organisation that is constantly innovating. As a feminist, I also enjoy working for an organisation that does not have a gender pay gap and have women as well as men in senior management positions.
What is it like to work in your area of Wales or in your specific service?
My role covers all our service delivery areas across Wales. I live in Dyfed which is a really rural part of Wales with the counties of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion covering very large geographical areas which is challenges when delivering services. We also have other areas such as Newport and Llanelli that are far more urban. We deliver services in areas that have high poverty and are considered economically deprived so it means we have to be adaptable, flexible and manage our time well.
Please tell us about your average day.
I’m not sure an average day exists in Barod and this is one of the things I love about my job – every day is different. I could be in a different location, working with different people and audiences doing very different tasks from morning to the afternoon. One thing that is consistent is that my role requires an emphasis on quality management and a love of working and serving our communities which keeps me motivated.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
I try to remember in my daily work something our CEO advised me on a few years ago and that is that “Assumptions make an ass out of u and me”. I have learnt to never assume anything with service users or staff – it’s important that people can tell their own story without pre-judgements or other people making assumptions about their situation. The other thing I live and work by is to always do the right thing even when nobody is looking which my grandmother taught me as a child.