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Guy Dove: How I support the Better Start Bradford team

12 April 2024

At Better Start Bradford we have an admin team of three people, Guy Dove, Fareeaa Moughal and Debbie Church who keep the team organised, managing work processes and undertaking all admin duties to ensure everything runs smoothly in the office.

Here we spend some time with one of our longest serving members of the Better Start Bradford team, Guy Dove, Senior Programme Administrator to find out more about his role. Guy has been with the programme since 2016.

Have you always worked within the charity sector?

Better Start Bradford is my first job in the charity sector. I got the role of administrator at age 41 after working in financial services for almost 20 years. The last 8 years of those were in Liverpool where I had no family and I used to do occasional voluntary work, such as delivering Christmas hampers to the elderly, dressing up as Pudsey Bear for Children in Need and marshalling Race for Life, which I really enjoyed. It also made me realise that there are paid jobs in the charity sector, and when I spotted the administrator role at Better Start Bradford I applied for it and got it. This just shows you can start a new career at any age!

Colleagues can do their job better if they know I have done mine.

In your role as Senior Programme Administrator, what do you do?

I see my role as supporting the Better Start Bradford programme in my own way. Colleagues can do their job better if they know I have done mine.

An example was the launch event in September 2023 for our enhanced health-visiting project (MECSH), which has gone district wide, a huge success for the programme. About 50 people booked into this in-person launch event. I was responsible for everyone’s presentations, including a video message from Australia, being all ready to run in the correct order. This meant that the speakers, including a senior person from the NHS Care Trust, could concentrate on delivering their presentations without worrying that their slides on the big screen behind them were going wrong.

When colleagues are travelling to conferences and meetings around the country, I’m responsible for booking their travel and accommodation. I also have responsibility for booking venues for activities such as team development days, making sure that items such as catering, car parking, WIFI access, resources are all covered.

Since I started, I have attended almost all our monthly Partnership Board meetings and other governance meetings, making sure the meeting papers are sent out in good time and writing up the minutes. This ensures I have very up-to-date knowledge of what’s happening across the whole Better Start Bradford programme which comes in helpful at the various meetings I attend.

Other parts of my job include: acting as a PA to our Director and Assistant Director, and, with Fareeraa and Debbie, we are responsible for sorting out visitors, room and resource bookings and supporting colleagues with recruitment and HR matters as required.

What has been some of the highlights in the role?

One highlight was booking our former Programme Director and the then Strategic Director of Children’s Services at Bradford Council on flights to an event in New York arranged by The National Lottery Community Fund, who also stipulated the hotel I had to book them into in New Jersey. Of course, the need to book travel and hotels was suspended during the pandemic, but it is now picking up again and I have certainly noticed how all the prices have increased.

We have had several new starters join the staff team recently and it’s really rewarding getting their laptops ready, with their logins, access to email and Microsoft Teams all set up and ready to go for when they start.

Better Start Bradford has a weekly internal Team News bulletin which I really enjoy putting together.

It was so exciting waiting for Floella Benjamin to arrive!

What are you looking forward to in 2024?

I am really looking forward to this year’s Baby Week Bradford in November 2024.  Usually, my job at the two main events is working on the reception desk, ticking off names, handing out name badges and answering queries.  As mine is a ‘back-office’ job, it is good to have a change now and again. It was so exciting waiting for Floella Benjamin to arrive at the workforce event in 2022 and meeting Dr Amir Khan at the workforce event in 2023.

We hear that you are already getting into the Christmas spirit?

Yes I am  – with other colleagues I’ll be helping to organise our Christmas party for the second year running, making sure the venue knows in good time about special dietary requirements, required room layout and so on.

And, a really fun and different part of my job has been playing Santa Claus, in a full red and white outfit complete with a long white beard, at several of our Festive Fun events. It’s so lovely seeing the smiles on the little ones faces when I come in with presents.

And finally….

It is my intention to remain at Better Start Bradford until 2025, supporting the closure of the programme as best I can. I know that every job ends eventually, and it will be a sad day, but I am hopeful that I will have learned useful skills for wherever I work next. It’s also great to know that I have helped support the programme team to improve the lives of babies and children in the Better Start Bradford area and beyond.

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