In The Spotlight – Gillian Allan

Tell us a little about your current job

I currently work as the Planning Team Coordinator within the Planning Department at Carseview House and have been based here for five years. We are a small team but a fabulous one. My role is to support the Head of Planning and Senior Planning Managers in all services across Forth Valley. Our current challenge is the Forth Valley Primary Care Improvement Plan for the next five years. It’s a huge task and we have to get it right.

Career experience to date?

I joined NHS Forth Valley in 2003 and most of my early years were spent working within Bellsdyke Hospital. During my time there I made some amazing lifelong friends, my Level 1’s as they are known. I had previously spent 12 years working with the former Central Scotland Police which I absolutely loved. I experienced a wealth of life-changing skills when I was based within the Force Control Room, answering 999 calls. Working on the radio for stolen cars on the motorway, typing statements for serious crimes, no two days were the same.

What was your childhood ambition?

My childhood ambition was to be a nurse. My gran was a nurse at both Bellsdyke and Kildean Hospitals and I was set for my dream job. Sadly this was not to be. After staying with my gran one weekend I thought I would help her cut oranges for breakfast but as I sliced through the orange and through my finger I saw the blood pour from my hand and immediately collapsed and fainted! The idea of being a nurse soon disappeared.

Memorable Moment?

I’m sure I’ll be forgiven for being a huge Take That fan so when my daughter and I shared our picnic lunch with Jason Orange in the gardens outside Kensington Palace in London, we couldn’t quite believe it.  A most enjoyable 2hrs of our day was spent talking to Jason, as my husband and son sat praying I would stop talking so we could take in the real sights of London.  He was a very genuine, down to earth person and it was a pleasure to have met him, albeit surreal.

Pizza parlour or posh nosh?

Sometimes a pizza parlour is definitely on the menu but who doesn’t relish fine dining now and again. I have a husband who cooks so I’m fortunate meal times are usually catered for. He makes a mean curry.

Best holiday ever and worst?

Best by far, Italy last year. We stayed in Sorrento and took in the sights of Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and climbed Mount Vesuvius. I actually shed a tear on the last night as I didn’t want to come home.

Worst was definitely a camping holiday when our children were small. It rained the entire fortnight, the midges were buzzing and biting, the camping table collapsed and we spent a fortune trying to entertain the kids!

What makes you laugh?

I laugh at most things, usually myself, but if I were to choose something I’d say watching a League of Their Own with James Corden. It’s hilarious. My husband also makes me laugh, even after 22 years, albeit it’s usually at my expense. He has a dry sense of humour but is very funny.

Proudest moment?

I have so many. I’ll choose two and these have to be my children. A very cliché answer but it’s true. They are always there for me and it’s lovely to get home at night and be welcomed with a smile and a cuddle.

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

Another ten countries under my belt would be great, travelling with my husband. Sri Lanka and the Maldives would be top spots – we’ve talked about this since we first met and never got around to it.

Mantra for life?

None of us know what the future may bring so rather than worry about tomorrow, make the most of today. Live in the present and enjoy what is in front of you.