How long have you been working for MRO?
I joined MRO on 14th March 2014, so have been here for almost 4 years now. The tsiMoray ‘Join the Dots’ event was what I attended on my very first day working with Moray Reach Out. This marks my anniversaries each year very nicely!
Brief Description of your background pre–MRO:
Before MRO, I worked mainly in training & education specialising in employability skills and supporting vulnerable adults, I also did some interesting project work. One such project was working for the Scottish Government promoting relocation to Scotland for skilled workers and arranging immigration advice for companies and individuals. Some of my favourite and slightly more unusual jobs in the past were working for Thomson Holidays as an Overseas Representative which I did for a few years. I also taught English as a Second or Other Language here in the UK. Another was being a Community Interpreter, helping out with the Bosnian refugees who came to Moray just a year after my husband and I fled from the former Yugoslavia because of the war. In fact, we were only going to be here for a year maximum but that’s nearly 27 years ago. Showing my age now!!! I spent some years living and working in Germany, France, Greece and what is now Croatia. I love languages and different cultures. Also music and dancing.
Why did you decide to join MRO?
The post seemed to combine all the skills I had gathered over my working years plus it presented some new challenges. To be honest, it was my Mum who saw the advert and said that it looked like the perfect job for me. I had been working in Inverness and Invergordon and not enjoying the commuting. The job description was a huge ask and I nearly didn’t apply because of that, but I am so glad I did. It felt like coming home – not just to Moray, but to an organisation I really believe in. It’s fantastic and it’s the people that make it so – our wonderful Trainees, dedicated and enthusiastic Staff and Volunteers.
Brief description of your role:
My role is to develop the business whilst keeping its social purpose at the heart of everything we do. In fact, we have two social purposes. Our first is to provide training opportunities to vulnerable adults and as we like to put it – empowering their lives. The second is to protect the environment through recycling as much as we can locally.
I try to ensure that the team which is spread across Moray work well together, sharing best practice and supporting one another. It’s important that they have all the resources and training to do their jobs with excellence. I would like to think I provide support and guidance where it’s needed but otherwise it’s about enabling our enthusiastic and experienced team to deliver the best service we can to our trainees and customers and trusting them to get on and do this. We have a very committed team at Moray Reach Out who believe in the work we do within the Moray Community.
What does your typical day look like:
There really isn’t a typical day! The work is so varied but that’s what I like about it. Sometimes, I’m busy researching ideas or writing funding applications for new projects. There’s the ongoing general management ensuring we keep up to date with legislation, visiting all the different sites to support staff, Volunteers and trainees or just catching up with them. Keeping the Board informed and preparing for Board meetings and Management Committee get-togethers where ideas are shared and decisions made about the future direction of the organisation.
What do you like best about working for MRO?
I love the upbeat and welcoming atmosphere that working with our Trainees and the Staff and Volunteers creates. It’s pretty unique. Our Chairman, Lloyd Watt, puts it well when he says we are all about Training and Trading. As the Trainees are in a real, working environment, it gives them a sense of purpose to be part of that. To see the outcome of their efforts is so rewarding for them and us.
Shetland COPE CEO and Business Manager visiting us in Moray.
Why do you think MRO is important to the Moray community?
Our Vision is Empowering Lives and everything we do is about helping people be the best they can be by teaching new skills, increasing their confidence, socialising and being part of the community.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have several projects in development at the moment. Most exciting is the proposed purchase of a building for Moray Reach Out. This will house our Head Office, our Yarns & Crafts shop (Buckie Yarns), our Thrift Shop and we will still have space for a couple of new projects. In addition, we will be able to offer workshops to the general public and become even more involved with the local Community.
What do you hope for MRO’s future?
I have huge hopes and plans for MRO’s future, the staff, Volunteers and trainees are so enthusiastic and full of ideas for both the training and the business side of things. It was an extremely proud moment when we won the Community Impact Award. Here’s some of the team and myself celebrating and having some fun with the props! There are exciting times ahead for the organisation, its people and the local community.