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Richard Grove

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Richard Grove

Senior Consultant - HR

I was brought in by Pro to lead the HR offering across the Charity, Third and Public Sectors. I specialise in placing HR professionals on a permanent, fixed-term and interim basis.   

I have over 4.5 years of recruitment experience. Sectors include; Charity & Not-for-profit, Central Government, Local Government and Housing. 

Over 4.5 years experience in recruitment but 2 years specialising in HR.
I have recruited people on a contingent basis as well as a retained basis where I have built multiple in-house teams for my clients. 

In my spare time, I spend a lot of time playing & cleaning up after my two pups, Luna & Storm. 

I’m a keen but average golfer.. 

Massive Spurs fan

Love a holiday!

Enjoy going to the cinema, going out for dinner and going to the pub.

My dream job…. Other than playing golf professionally, I’d love to be a football manager!

You get paid good money to watch football week in, week out and get circa three months holiday per year - what’s not to love?!  

  

richard's latest roles

  • HR Business Partner

    £52000 - £55000.00 per annum

    Role: HR Business Partner Location: London Salary: Up to £55,000 Profile: Are you an experienced HR Business Partner that has a strong track-record of influencing senior leaders? Are you MCIPD qualified (or ...

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  • Senior HR Consultant (HR Advisor)

    £35000 - £38000.00 per annum

    Role: Senior HR Consultant (Senior HR Advisor) Length: 12-month FTC Location: Essex Salary: Up to £38,000 Profile: Are you an experienced CIPD qualified HR professional, confident in taking an advisory role?...

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What people say about Richard

I have worked with Richard on a number of different assignments. He has always been extremely helpful, professional and knowledgeable. 

I have known Richard for a number of years, and he is a genuine and truthful person. Richard is the consultant that bothers to say in touch, even when his clients are busy, he is respectful helpful and really cares - a rarity in today's employment consultants.

What a great support Richard has been to me in my job search; letting me know when there was no news, having faith in me, being honest and generally being fantastic!
Thanks, Richard - your support in helping me to find a new role was invaluable.


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Companies Richard has worked with

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richard's articles

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How You Can Make the Most of December in HR

Posted by Richard Grove

Christmas is always a tough time for professionals working in HR, especially HR Directors. As a HR recruiter, I’m always torn as to whether I’m looking forward to Christmas or not, from a work perspective at least. Whilst I must note that I absolutely love Christmas, it can have a negative effect on the workforce or those on the market. So with so much going on in December how do you keep motivated and keep productivity up at work in December? In this quick 2 minute read I'll look to give you the best ways to combat December head on, keep the best talent coming in right up until Christmas and ultimately start the New Year off in the right way. Christmas is a great time to plan for the year ahead and finish off any existing projects but for some businesses, Christmas can prove to be challenging. So what are the most common issues facing HR in companies during this festive period? Well, I've listed the top four positives and negatives that keep coming up when I speak with HR professionals: Pros Cons Secret Santa Recruitment delays which can lead to a negative experience for new candidates Drinking on a school night isn’t frowned upon Availability to meet/interview with senior staff/ key stakeholders is near impossible An endless supply of food on desks Sickness Great morale An influx of annual leave 1. Recruitment delays All the above in the “Cons” section are a recurring issue that several businesses face during the Christmas period, but for those who can combat the above have an excellent chance of starting the New Year on the front foot. But how do you combat these issues? Whilst I’d be keen to hear how HR directors and HR managers combat Sickness and the flurry of annual leave, I have listed my thoughts below on the other areas: Be clear on how desperate you are to get this person/s in; Is it business critical? What impact will it have if you push the recruitment into January? Do you or your team have the time and capacity to recruit this person? Do you have the budget to recruit and what is the difference in costs between recruiting direct or via an agency? 2. Availability Relating to interviews, is it possible to block out time in someone’s diary in advance so that you have pre-agreed interview slots? The further ahead of time where you can book such meetings the greater chance that candidates can make arrangements. Remember it's important to consider what impact a delayed or cancelled meeting may have on your brand or chances of securing the best talent? 3. Motivating staff It's imperative to keep staff motivated throughout December in the lead up to Christmas. With shopping, partying and socialising all ramping up towards holidays employees can sometimes check out both entally and physically. The best way to combat this is to try to create a fun environment. Having spoken with a number of HR Directors some of the best suggestions that I've encountered are: Team competitions Decorations Be a bit flexible when it comes to working hours – If people need to leave earlier or start slightly later, this can have a very good effect on morale. Gee up the troops! Set short term and long term targets and highlight wins, no matter how big or small 4. Plan your year While the new year may seem like a hazy dot on the horizon it'll come round a lot quicker than you think. Have a plan and get working on it so that when January comes around you aren't blindsided by a hundred different things and lose focus on the bigger picture. Discuss plans for next year and in particular what your staff's personal goals are. If you can visualise the end goal or measure the success, how are you going to get these? What do you want to achieve next year? What do you want to change in your life? How are you going to measure success? What do you need to do for the remainder of the year to start on the front foot for next year? While it can be easy to let December slip away and get swept up in all the jollities of the season, being organised and planning ahead can really minimise the impact that Christmas has on your business. If you manage to really nail your HR functions in December ahead of the January rush then you'll hit the ground running in January. For more information about this article, or to speak to Richard about your recruiting needs or HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696353 or richard.grove@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Peta Newlin, Interim Head of Human Resources

Posted by Richard Grove

Peta Newlin is an accomplished and qualified Head of HR professional with extensive managerial experience, working as part of the Senior Leadership team across the whole spectrum of HR, L&D, OD and contract management. She has worked in private and public sector in strategy development, recruitment, payroll, employee engagement, process redesign, cultural change, policy review and design, OD, systems, data analytics, ER, benefits. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to become a senior leader in HR? Three things; 1. Don’t underestimate your ability; keep believing. 2. Learn from your mistakes. No one ever improved without making a few mistakes along the way. 3. Don’t be afraid to ask your team if they can they offer solutions to issues; they’ll be only too pleased to help! What is your greatest career achievement? Taking on a role in an area which I had little strategic expertise in. I worked hard and within eighteen months with the help of the most fantastic team, I had rolled out employee self service on a HR/Payroll system to 5000 staff at multi sites, obtained IiP status where it had previously not been achieved, procured and rolled out a Management Development Programme, designed and launched a start up apprenticeship programme & launched e-learning to all staff. All of which linked to our People Strategy. Who is the best manager you’ve worked for and why? Anne-Marie Scott; she encouraged me, steered away from micro managing me, was approachable and very knowledgable. She believed in my ability and encouraged me to do the same. I still go to her for advice now. How would your team describe you? Ooh, I think you’d have to ask them that! My last sizeable team provided me with great feedback, stating that was I was clear about our objectives, incredibly fair, kind and supportive. They were fabulous too. I knew I could trust and rely upon them to deliver. If not in HR, what would the dream be? Organising big events like weddings, balls and charity do’s. I love all of the detail of planning, buying beautiful things and making people feel special. Biggest superstition/fear? Not walking under ladders! What is your morning routine before work? Builders tea (X2), shower, check the weather before I get dressed and some meditation if I have time. Finally, kiss my husband goodbye. Favourite holiday destination and why? Cyprus, it’s my little bolt hole in the sun. Lovely long walks on the beach, relaxing, shopping & reading all the books that I haven’t had chance to read all year. If you were able to invite four people to dinner (alive or passed), who would you invite, and why? My Dad who passed away way too early, Dr Mark Kilgallon who has coached me and is so inspiring, Alan Sugar, who would make my ideal boss and Micky Flanagan for the crack. What is your life hack/top tip? Don’t put off today what you you can do tomorrow. For more information about this article, or to speak to Richard about your recruiting needs or HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696353 or richard.grove@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: David Woodman, Interim Director, Human Resources at Ambition School Leadership

Posted by Richard Grove

David Woodman is the Interim Director, Human Resources at Ambition School Leadership. Ambition School Leadership runs leadership development programmes in England that enable school leaders to create more impact in schools that serve disadvantaged children and their communities. What three traits define you? Responsibility, Professionalism and importantly – a sense of humour. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? Working for a south coast Local Government organisation, that had strong links with the Church and Hampshire Regiments and had to conduct training in old watermill which at the time was part of the estate. How do you define success? Success for me is contributing to positive outcomes that benefit the organisation I am working for and by implication the people working in and across the organisation. An example is creating agile working environments that support a diverse workforce. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I would be in conservation in Africa, striving to care for our endangered wildlife and building sustainable developments. What is your personal philosophy? To understand and treat others with respect. How do you start your day? With a good thought – usually I am alive. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? Autonomy and being listened to as the Director of HR and Change. What are the secrets to good leadership? To first believe in what and why you are doing. Then create teams of people who you care for and the results will be close behind. What makes your company unique? It has a mission that everyone really buys into, rather than just a place for a job. Who do you most admire in your industry? I try to learn something from everyone, as I think all great people are right for a particular time or place. However being creative with “People” in my HR industry, my overall favourite is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as without him we would not have the illuminating stories of Sherlock Holmes, and therefore the world would be a duller place. For more information about this article, or to speak to Richard about your recruiting needs or HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696353 or richard.grove@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Pro-HR is growing!

Posted by Richard Grove

Pro-HR is growing! Due to increased demand, Pro-HR has appointed two new consultants to continue to ensure we are delivering a great service to our customers. Marianne Wills (Maz) has joined us as an Associate Consultant on our AC programme in July and has gone from strength to strength, successfully passing the programme and getting a seat on the HR team. Maz is focussing on working closely with candidates across HR, OD, L&D and Recruitment. Stacey Kerrigan has joined us as a Recruitment Consultant – Stacey boasts over 5 years recruitment experience, specialising in placing interims across professional services. With previous experience in the HR world, Stacey has slotted in perfectly and is tasked with building our interim offering across HR, OD, L&D and Recruitment. If you are looking for your next move, looking to recruit or want to join Pro contact either Stacey or Maz on 0207 269 6333 or email stacey.kerrigan@pro-recruitment.co.uk or marianne.willis@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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60 Seconds With: Julie Wiseman, Senior HR Business Partner at Pell Frischmann

Posted by Richard Grove

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to become a senior leader in HR? I didn’t and wouldn’t give myself any advice because I have and had no expectations. I tend to be my own worst enemy and have always questioned whether or not I am good enough as an HR professional. However, I do believe that being a senior leader in HR will come naturally if you are naturally good at it. You don’t have to have a certain title to be a good leader; it is always the people (whether that’s your team or the wider business) who elevate you to a degree of seniority through respect and their confidence in the level of service you have provided them. This really has to be based on the gravitas and credibility you have built through your dealings with them. What is your greatest career achievement? I don’t think that has happened yet. I like to think that I do a good job; there have been companies I’ve worked for who have said that I always gave them over and above what they thought they needed or expected, and believe that they are in a better position as a result of it of it. I would like to keep delivering this kind of service until my greatest career achievement comes along (which I hope will happen!). What is the best thing about working for Pell Frischmann? I have a fab HR Director that gives me the autonomy to make changes and she supports the agenda fully. To have a manager whom I respect and whose decision making I trust significantly enables me to carry out my role effectively. Being empowered in the way I am at Pell Frischmann is down to her and her leadership and is totally refreshing. How would your team describe you? I asked my colleague to write this answer – so here it is! "Julie is not only an open, generous and fun person who takes a real interest in other people, but she is also generous with her time, support and of her professional experience. She is the first person I would go to not only if I need a shoulder re personal issues, but I trust implicitly her insight, knowledge and experience in anything HR related. Julie is selfless and always looking to ensure that her team gets the recognition and support that they deserve." If not in HR, what would the dream be? If money was no option, I would be a socialite. I think I would make a good one; taking on roles as an ambassador for relevant charities, walking the red carpet and being famous in my own right for making a positive difference. Outside of that, I would love to learn how to fly (pilot!) Biggest superstition/fear? Not being a good mum. My boys are both wonderful human beings in every respect and I would like to be able to say in whole or in part that this is because of me and not in spite of me. What is your morning routine before work? Apart from the obvious hygiene and grooming routine, there is no routine apart from everything is a mad dash so I don’t miss my train. Favourite holiday destination and why? The Eastern Caribbean (particularly St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Lucia) because it’s home from home. I can relax and you can take people as you see them. They are very outspoken so you always know where you stand with them. There is nothing pretentious about them at all. If you were able to invite 4 people to dinner (alive or passed), who would you invite, and why? So long as my family was there already, these 4 will get an invitation: Barack and Michelle Obama, not only inspirational but very personable. My dad – who is no longer with us but if he were here I would be able to say all the things I regretfully didn’t get an opportunity to. Princess Margaret - I was lucky enough to have met her a few times over a period of time and I have a lot to thank her for. I would like the opportunity to do just that (also, I’m sure she’d have a lot to tell us about the Royal Family!) What is your life hack/top tip? Everything happens for a reason. Everything will happen just as it should. If something goes wrong, it will eventually come good so try not to worry about it.

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Duvet days: Mental health and the workplace

Posted by Richard Grove

As we all know, “Mental Health in the workplace” has been a hot topic over the last few years and it is nice to see that a vast number of organisations are taking it far more seriously these days. But how damaging can a lack of acknowledgement around mental health have on not only the individual but also retaining and hiring employees? I am increasingly being asked by candidates about employer’s wellbeing policies when considering a job offer and, on some occasions, before they have even stepped through the door at interview stage. Some are even stating that a lack of wellbeing recognition is a key reason for leaving their current organisation. We all know that as humans we just want to feel safe. Although there is a lot of progress recently on mental health wellbeing, some people are still not comfortable with discussing it and may fear being stigmatised. We all want to appear strong and capable in the workplace, so this is not surprising, and it can also be difficult to admit to yourself your mental wellbeing is suffering or indeed recognise some of the symptoms. Some people are much more comfortable and open when talking about themselves and their feelings than others, but the effects are just as real, and in some cases more serious when people feel unable to be open. Employers can do a lot to encourage their employees to be more open - it’s vital that a workplace is seen as a safe place for people to discuss mental health. Getting people to talk can be key. At Pro, we have introduced wellbeing questions and objectives into our review and appraisal system and it has become normal for us to discuss alongside a performance-based review. Return to work interviews are important in discovering mental health issues and ensuring an organisation is offering support to anyone affected. It is vital that these are conducted with all employees after a period of absenteeism and not just when there is a potential issue. Employees must be aware this is standard company policy for all and is to support their return to the workplace. Other benefits include ensuring a good handover and updating on any company news. If you have a HR function these should be undertaken by someone who is trained in conducting. If not, ensure you have a standard form and line managers receive adequate training so they are effective and standardised for all. Some other techniques that have been adopted in the workplace are: · Training and equipping employees to act as Mental Health ambassadors. · Buddy systems · Adding counselling and mental health support into their health insurance policies. I spoke to a charity recently who had introduced mental health duvet days. The organisation allowed their employees three days per year where they could use which were deducted from their overall holiday allowance. Another organisation did a similar thing but did not want to use the term mental health, they offered five duvet mornings a year. It sounds generous, but they found that sickness and absenteeism reduced quite significantly as a result. However small these steps may seem to an employer they can end up being a huge selling point to potential candidates, as well as an effective tool for increasing staff retention and wellbeing.

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Agile Working – Is it the new bartering tool?

Posted by Richard Grove

Every candidate has different motivations as to why they search for a new role but gone are the days where money and career progression are the key drivers. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is still looking for a pay rise and thinking about the bigger picture but a vast amount of the candidates that we work with will ask on the first call; “Is there a chance to work from home?” Agile working is a great attraction tool as candidates will always be driven by what’s personal to them. If they truly value working from home one or two days per week, this could be the difference of them accepting or rejecting an offer, without even taking money or progression into account. Whilst many employers are now promoting flexible working and believe it has increased productivity, there are still many out there that still believe that it can promote laziness and would rather employees be visible in the office. I asked a few of my contacts what their views were of agile working and this was the feedback: Head of Recruitment What is your definition of agile working? To me, agile working is about ensuring that the work is completed to specified deadlines but that it is down to the individual as to how, where and when that work is completed. Do you think everyone should be entitled to it? It depends on the individual. I have team members I would completely trust with agile working, whereas others would take the mick and the work would not get done. I think everyone should be able to have flexible working and flexi-time but not necessarily the full agile working piece. Do you think it promotes a sense of empowerment and better results? Not necessarily. It depends on the individual. For some, it will, for others it will be a frightening concept. Have you noticed a shift from new recruits wanting more agile working as opposed to higher salaries? and on that note, do you believe this is a millennial mindset? I don’t think this is a millennial mindset, I have noticed it at all ends of the spectrum. As roles become less reliable (many more redundancies, no concept of a job for life any more), people are realising that working long hours will not give them job security, so having a life outside work is much more important. If all companies are paying similar salaries, agile working or flexible working/flexible time (which are part of, but not all, flexible working), become key benefits of choice when choosing a future employer). What are the cons of agile working? The cons include managers having to pay much closer attention to the work that is being done and what is being achieved. Whilst lots of people like the idea of agile working and being able to choose how and when they work, it will not work in all environments (call centres etc) and not everyone will bother to do any work if they are not in the office environment. Finally, there are health and safety issues and issues around the employer’s responsibility to ensure that staff have a safe working environment, which makes agile working difficult and expensive. Again, on the cost side, ensuring that staff have all the necessary equipment for agile working (mobile phone, laptop, dongle (to ensure Wi-Fi connections) can be very costly and not every company can afford this. HR Director What is your definition of agile working? A combination of policy and mindset; policy provides the articulation of what is aspired (e.g. flexible working/ home working/ compressed hours, etc - all pretty standard) - but the real difference comes from mindset; it is the trust and confidence present in those who need to agree ‘agile working’? Do they do it themselves to ‘show permission’? Also, agility is a two-way thing - sometimes an organisation might need to ask for employees to put ‘all-hands-on-deck’, but hopefully this would be balanced by the agility they offer the other way. Do you think everyone should be entitled to it? There may be some jobs where it just wouldn’t work - but I think this comes back to mindset; let’s start from the position it WILL work, and then seek to address any challenges, etc to this. Do you think it promotes a sense of empowerment and better results? Back to mindset; will the employee respond that way - or slack off? I would say most employees would work more effectively - of course, some will be ‘slackers’, but I would be confident overall staff productivity would increase. Have you noticed a shift from new recruits wanting more agile working as opposed to higher salaries? and on that note, do you believe this is a millennial mindset? Absolutely on the first point - on latter (millennial), I think this is also creeping into more ‘mature’ employees - maternity returners, for example. But also, I get a sense that, linked to an increased importance of ‘worth’ in terms of the organisation in which you work, there is also a value attached to flexibility/ agility being offered. What are the cons of agile working? Having to say ‘no’ on occasions - but I think the challenge for more traditional organisations and cultures to look across at the likes of Google, Facebook, etc, etc who create an environment that encourages agility, but at the same time makes it fun/ interesting/ reward to come into the office! Recruitment Business Partner What is your definition of agile working? We are organisationally and technologically supportive of colleagues who want to occasionally work from home. A flexible approach to agile working helps us empower our employees to perform at their best whilst removing constraints which can stand in the way. As well as being a perk that is becoming increasingly important to candidates, working from home can increase productivity and help people make their role work around their personal circumstances. As we are a multi-site nationwide organisation, a culture of hot-desking and fluid movement between buildings is already ingrained in our staff. Do you think it promotes a sense of empowerment and better results? My opinion is that it fosters more responsibility and ownership, as well as providing the space needed to complete larger, detail-heavy projects. There are some instances where it’s not practical, particularly for ‘floor-based’ roles which require a presence on site, but there’s no reason it can’t work given our access to the right technology. Studies have shown that it’s prized more highly than salary and other benefits for millennials and it seems to be becoming a regular offering in cultural sector organisations who can’t compete financially with the Private Sector. What are the cons of agile working? The main drawbacks in my experience concern people who become isolated in standalone roles or departments – even though they’re connected technologically, they can feel as though they are unsupported and misunderstood by the wider business. A stable team of co-located peers can sometimes be a useful network even if they have no expertise in your area of work. In my opinion, I think agile working is a great concept and if the work is being done, why would you not want to give your employees something that makes them happy? I’ve always been someone that enjoys working in a team and values the people around me but having one or more days per week of getting up slightly later, getting to see my two dogs and not having to do the 45-minute Central Line commute to work and back... how could I refuse?! What are your thoughts on agile working? Would a day (or more) from home help your decision when accepting a new role?

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60 Seconds With: Stephen Phillpott, Head of People Services at Tower Hamlets Homes

Posted by Richard Grove

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to become a senior leader in HR? As a general point, try and treat everyone as your next boss. It’s a smaller world than you might think and you’ll likely come across them again one day in a different context. More specifically to HR, my advice is to be curious about how the ‘front line’ and ‘back office’ connect – that’s led me to find out how best HR can support the business strategy in each organisation I’ve worked in, which creates high-level credibility. What is your greatest career achievement? An organisation is ultimately a group of people, and I feel that some of my greatest achievements have been when I’ve developed people to succeed – whether that’s helping fellow senior leaders to improve their leadership style, supporting colleagues facing career transition to find their new pathway, or coaching members of my team to excel in what they do. What is the best thing about working for Tower Hamlets Homes? Our customers are at the heart of our business here, and we see our people as central to getting it right for them. This means that I have a supportive Board and Executive team who are keen for us to take a forward-looking approach to HR. As someone who passionately believes that there’s no reason a smallish social housing provider shouldn’t aim high, it’s a great environment for me. How would your team describe you? I think they would say I was focused and organised – I like to be assured that detail is being looked after, and so they have to manage upwards! I’m probably also seen as quite strategic; I certainly try to build a view of the bigger picture with my team. If not in HR, what would the dream be? I enjoy what I do, but if I wasn’t in HR, then as someone who’s interested in history and architecture, and who loved his student job working as a technician in the campus theatre, I’d probably be producing TV programmes with some celebrity historian. Biggest superstition/fear? I’m not a big believer in superstition – I don’t pay any attention to the number of magpies I see or cats crossing in front of me. I do ‘touch wood’ in order not to jinx something, though, which makes no sense. But if it works… What is your morning routine before work? There’s nothing spectacular about my morning routine at all, although it does take me right past the door of nine separate coffee shops, so I will usually stop in one of those. Favourite holiday destination and why? Although I’m a townie at heart, I love taking city breaks and experiencing the hustle, bustle and culture - my sister-in-law lives in Singapore at the moment, and so I’ve been out there a few times recently. It’s a lovely city to visit – it’s buzzing with energy 24/7 and feels about as cosmopolitan as you can get. If you were able to invite 4 people to dinner (alive or passed), who would you invite, and why? I’d love to sit down with George Cadbury, who with his brother Richard created the Bournville village with affordable homes for the company’s workers; It’d be amazing to find out more about his thinking and what he made of the village now. Also, former US First Lady, Betty Ford – thrust into her role unexpectedly, but unapologetic in making it her own; I’d love to know what she would make of the debate around wellbeing/mental health in the workplace that goes on today. Finally, I’d invite both of my grandfathers – one died before I was born, and one died when I was quite young, so I never really got to know them and would love the chance to do so. I hear they have great stories they would have loved to tell me. Who is your hero? I’m inspired by my dad. He has always encouraged me to work hard, keep a level and logical head, and to question things I don’t agree with. Seems to work. What is your life hack/top tip? I’m pretty awful at DIY but found that when I needed to hang something with exact spacing between holes, the easiest way to do it was to photocopy the back of the item I wanted to hang and then drill into the photocopy where the holes were. Works like a charm!

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