When did you join Allia?
June 2019, almost 2.5 years ago
Has your role changed since you started here – and in what way?
I started as an Assistant Facilities Manager and was promoted to Facilities Manager within my first year. Since starting in the management role, I have taken on new responsibilities and continue to do so, depending on the demands of the business. I manage facilities and Health & Safety for Allia’s three Future Business Centres in Cambridge and Peterborough. It is always busy, and things are always changing and growing – watch this space!
Can you explain what your role involves – what you tend to do day-to-day?
Unfortunately, I cannot give you a ‘day to day’ explanation as no day is the same!
I handle everything from Health and Safety to dealing with blocked toilets and blown light bulbs – across the centres and helping out the many small businesses that work within them. My role involves making sure the buildings and the facilities are working correctly, safely and efficiently, whilst ensuring risk assessments are completed to safeguard our centre users. We want people to come into our centres to work or for a meeting or event and have a great experience, so ensuring everything is working and running smoothly is vital.
Covid-19 was a challenge I wasn’t expecting to ever have to deal with – my whole job relates to buildings so when we weren’t allowed in one, it was all a bit strange! At the start of the pandemic I spent a lot of time researching the changing scenarios and writing risk assessments, making sure we had the guidance and knew the rules if someone tested positive and when to isolate. Whilst the Allia team had to work from home, our centres did remain open for any of our tenant companies that were unable to work from home. So along with completing new risk assessments for the new situation, I also had to make sure all the statutory servicing and tests were still being carried out to ensure the centres were safe for those that were still using them.
As lockdown eased, we put measurements in place to ensure the Future Business Centres were safe for returning to work… creating one-way systems, installing screens between desks, increasing cleaning, ensuring plans were in place for any positive cases and communications were efficient with everyone etc. The buildings are Covid-safe, and our centre communities feel reassured that we’ve followed all of the guidelines to mitigate risk for a safe work environment.
That said, Covid-19 is still something I think about every day and I’m always looking at ways to reduce any risks in the centres – I’m happy to speak to anyone that may have any questions or concerns.
What is your favourite part about working at Allia?
I like that my role is different every day and that it is unpredictable.
I also like that we have various centre locations, so I can visit different sites and get to engage with all of the different tenants, centre users and of course the Allia team that works at the other centres. The role is challenging; you have to think on your feet and take on what is thrown at you. Being organised is a vital part of the role, and it is a skill I take pride in, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I like things to be certain ways, this job gives me the opportunity to do so.
How do you feel Allia helps to create positive impact for people, place or planet?
I like the way Allia helps to create positive impact through giving people the opportunity to take an idea and expand it. We support small, new businesses, from a start-up aiming to change the world, to a small business trying to create jobs for their local community. Small businesses come to Allia with the hope to grow and create more positive impact – and that is something that they can get support with here.
Tell us about what you like to do outside your 9-5
I like cooking, getting creative and anything hands on (so found it easy to find things to do throughout lockdown – I made some lovely bunting for our garden!).
Me and my partner love food! So, we are always in the kitchen cooking or baking. Lockdown gave us lots of time to experiment in the kitchen – we started with homemade bread but have since moved on to nan bread and bagels (a current favourite to make).
I do a lot of walking and am usually dragged around the Lakes a couple of times a year, and occasionally we go a bit further to a new destination. Here I am this summer at the Outer Hebrides, an island chain off the north west coast of Scotland.
Tell us something that might surprise us
Before starting a career at Allia I went to university and have a degree in millinery (the art of making hats and headwear).
To speak with Kate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to put you in touch.