Having spent most of my working life within the horticultural industry I joined the University looking to progress my career with the goal of becoming a landscape architect. I completed a BA and went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma. Since graduating I gained a place on a graduate training scheme with a well-known ground maintenance company that I completed ahead of schedule leading to a job as a Contract Supervisor overseeing the start-up of a newly procured grounds management contract covering several districts in Lincolnshire. This was a very challenging but rewarding task that included involvement in overseeing TUPE transfers, HR, machinery management, client liaison, delegation of work including horticultural tasks, playground safety inspections, sports pitch maintenance, shrub and flower bed maintenance, arboriculture works, the management of Green Flag standard parks and the cutting of many million square metres of grass annually!
I have now moved back to my home county of Worcestershire and have recently started working as a Contracts Manager with John O’Conner Ground Maintenance. My job entails several grounds maintenance contracts for Midland Heart Housing Association within Leicestershire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands. I am responsible for a team of 2 supervisors and 14 operatives (going up to 22 at full summer structure). I also cover all managerial aspects of the contract such as budgetary control, business development/procurement, health and safety compliance, staff recruitment, training, machinery procurement and enforcement of the disciplinary procedure where necessary.
I really enjoy my job, the nature of the contracts on which I currently work means that as a team we have a tangible effect on the quality of life of elderly and vulnerable people. I love the camaraderie that exists on contracts of this nature and I get a great deal of satisfaction from being able to facilitate the professional development of my staff.
Looking to the future my aim is to progress to become part of the senior management team within the next few years, a target that I know is achievable. This has all come to fruition as a result of my studies at the University of Gloucestershire.