26 August 2020

BLOG: Meet the Trust Operations Team!

From bedside to shoreside - meet the team on a mission to get young people on the water!

Ever wondered who sorts everything out for young people to come on Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust trips and who looks after them when they get here? Wonder no more! As part of our Wider Horizons career sessions we want to introduce you to the Trust crew. This week we bring together the operations team from Largs and Cowes to have a chat about their roles at the Trust and why they do what they do.

You recently met James , who heads things up in Largs as the Operations Manager North. So now it’s time to step forward Hayley Attrill, Beth Crockford, Holly West and Lucy Hinkley from the Cowes crew and Hayley Skinner and Lorna Macdonald representing team Largs - let's get inspired...

Introduce yourselves!

Hayley A: I’ve worked for the Trust for close to eight years! This year I came back to the new part time role of Trip Administrator (South) after maternity leave having previously been Young Person & Hospital Liaison (South), which the lovely Holly now does. One of the things I love about working for the Trust is everyone in the team helps each other out, no matter what role we do. Mine’s a pretty varied role and no day is ever the same, which I love.

Holly: I’ve been the Young Person & Hospital Liaison (South) since December 2018. I liaise with hospitals, charities, families, and young people south of Nottingham, coordinate any young person’s first-time trip in Cowes and organise all the young peoples’ travel. I also get involved in various activities when young people are sailing with us, ranging from crabbing, eating ice cream, playing rounders, and enjoying BBQs.

Hayley S: I’m the ‘Operations Coordinator’ in Largs and I do a combination of the roles Holly and Lucy do. I organise and recruit for the first-time trips with our hospital groups north of Nottingham, Scotland, and in Northern Ireland and I also organise the return trips, which take place in the North of England and Scotland. This involves travel, liaising with young people and parents and also getting involved with some of the fun parts on trips!

Lucy: As the Return Trips Coordinator, I co-ordinate the return trips, sending out invites, allocating young people to trips based on their preferences, collating medical forms and liaising with young people and parents to make sure they have all the information ahead of the trips. I’ve been with the Trust 16 months and I also get to welcome young people on their trips and join in the BBQs, games, fish and chips, while getting to know young people AND being one of the dessert competition judges!

Lorna: I’ve been the Operations Administrator since November 2017. Hayley S and I actually started on the very same day! I help organise the trip Skipper and Volunteer allocations, ensuring all volunteers and staff have up-to-date disclosure and safeguarding and also book travel along with the day-to-day Largs things.

Beth: I’ve worked at the Trust for three years. Having initially joined as the Summer Assistant in 2017, I was fortunate enough to move into a full-time position and I’m now primarily a point of contact for our awesome volunteers. I help with the new volunteer recruitment process and ensure every volunteer has up-to-date safeguarding checks and all the information they need before joining a trip. During trip season, you will also often find me with BBQ tongs, doughnuts, and a rounders bat in my hands!

What do you need to do your job?

Lucy: Be really organised and good at juggling multiple things at once. You need to stay calm under pressure, not panic in a crisis and be friendly, approachable, bubbly and keen to get involved.

Hayley S: 100% everything Lucy says. I do have some formal qualifications, but you can’t beat learning on the job and the experience you pick up from that. Teamwork and communication are also key, we all help each other out all the time.

Beth: I agree completely, the most important skills for this role are communication and teamwork. Whether over the phone, email or in person, this role is all about communicating well with others. Trip season is are extremely fast-paced and high pressure, so working efficiently in a team and supporting each other is crucial to ensuring the trips run smoothly.

Lorna: A good background in office skills and being an organised person certainly helps. Being able to change your skills set and rise to a challenge is also handy.

Hayley A: I have no formal qualifications in administration/business, I’ve just been fortunate to gain a lot of hands-on learning and experience along the way. I agree with everything the rest of the team have said, and would also add time management and empathy. A lot of people assume because I work for the Trust I’m a sailor, but that’s not the case! I’d never been on a yacht before starting work with the Trust!

Holly: My role involves a lot of talking to people, hospital contacts, young people, or parents etc, and so I have to be able to communicate in various different ways to various different people. Manging my time efficiently is also super important as over the summer we have lots of trips back-to-back and it can be lots of spinning plates.

So now you’ve met the team and put a face to the name (or voice!), in part 3, we will discover what everyone did before they worked for the Trust, and how they ended up getting involved.