What does your job entail?
Oh dear I hope I get this right or my managers will wonder what I’m up to! My job is really about enabling people do what they have to do to develop and sustain services for local children and families. It’s about ensuring services meet their evolving needs whilst making sure they are safe and doing what they are designed to do.
Tell us a little about your career background
I am a registered nurse, health visitor and nurse teacher. I worked for several years in acute services before moving into community services and realising that, for me, that was the place to be. I started working in community health services in 1997, initially as a staff nurse with a district nursing team while also working in sexual health services focusing on gay men and young people. Through this work I would listen to people’s stories and realise how many opportunities had been missed to intervene and prevent risky behaviours or long-term conditions from developing. This pulled me towards health visiting with the aim of early intervention and working with families to make sure children have the best start in life. I remain very passionate about this.
When I was working as a health visitor many changes were being introduced – some good and some not so good. I found myself moaning a bit which was unlike me so decided that instead of being passive I would get involved and hopefully have the opportunity to influence things. This led me into practice development, team leadership and eventually higher education where I have been a lead for community in an undergraduate nursing programme and also programme lead for health visiting. This was all before landing here in Forth Valley.
What do you see as your biggest challenges?
Getting people I work with used to my ‘active communication’ style. I do love to talk!
What makes you tick?
I love work, weirdly. I like nothing better than working with likeminded people who are up for improvements and developing both services and themselves.
Fast food drive-through or fine dining?
Fine Dining for me but I do enjoy all food. My favourite is game, and I love restaurants where you get things like curried foam. It’s like eating flavoured air.
Funniest moment ever?
Oh dear that’s a tough question as I find lots of things funny. I’d be scared to give details in case I get into trouble! For some reason some of the funniest moments involve my husband tripping or falling. I don’t know why I find that really funny.
I hate hearing people eat noisy fruit when it’s quiet e.g. apples. Quiet food like bananas or tangerines are fine but I hate that big initial crunch.
Time traveller – where would you want to land and why?
Going back I would love to meet some Jacobites. To see and live in the world before industrialisation although I’m not sure I’d cope with the smells before internal sanitation and sewage works!
One million pounds to spend, what would you buy?
I love travelling so would holiday for as long as I could.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I like studying so just now that’s what I’m doing for leisure – yes, strange I know.
What would you tell your 16 year old self?
If you could change one thing what would it be?
I do not mean to have a Miss World moment but I would definitely change poverty and all of the structural issues that lead to this. It is very difficult to hear of people spending excessive money on materialistic, non-essential items when so many people have food insecurity or homelessness.