Human Resources

The life of a HR Trainee in Rural Northumberland

Posted by Katie Stewart, 28 Apr 2016

I’m currently working as a HR advisor in the Community Business Unit for my Trust.  I have my own operational “patch” and a set of managers I look after as part of my role.  I advise on policy and procedure and attend meetings on various topics with managers and employees.

This week has felt like a busy week and I’ve spent quite a limited amount of time at my desk.  I’ve acted as secretary to the panel in two disciplinary hearings, taken notes for meetings into investigations under the disciplinary or grievance policies, attended sickness reviews for staff off work, back at work and planning returns with Occupational Health, I’ve had the quickest 1:1 with my manager ever and travelled miles!

I really enjoy the diversity in my role and although I was apprehensive about the geographical spread of the Trust when I found I was going into Community, I have been rewarded by the stunning scenery of rural Northumberland too.  This week I travelled up to Alnwick and chose the coastal route back down to my next meeting.  According to Google maps it would take me 3 minutes longer than the A1 but was actually 2 miles shorter, with that in mind I felt I was onto a winner and just hoped not to get stuck behind a tractor.  (In reality, there is a similar risk of getting stuck behind a tractor on the A1 – who knew it goes down to a single carriageway road if you travel far enough north?!)  The weather was fairly grim on the day in question and I drove North (up the A1!) in pouring rain but as I was leaving a few hours later the skies lifted and I was rewarded with the most glorious sunshine as I drove past Alnmouth, bright and beautiful in the sunshine, then further south, through the village of Warkworth where the castle hill was a carpet of Spring daffodils.  I just wish I had been travelling for pleasure at those moments and had opportunity to stop and capture the moment on camera!

Weeks like this week make me appreciate the role I do greatly, not only am I there to support staff and managers in my organisation, I’ve been thanked for what I have done by various people and received praise for another project I was recently involved in.  I’ve also had that voyage of personal, local discovery and the opportunity to see places I would doubtful have ever seen without the scheme.

I dreaded the idea of leaving the beauty of the Ribble Valley, my friends and family to come on this adventure but I don’t regret it.  I have had a fantastic experience in my first placement and am sad that it’s well over the half way point now.   I was placed into a Trust with a fantastic reputation for nurturing leaders and recognising talent, I’m supported by a brilliant team, both in my immediate colleagues and the departments I work with and I’ve been able to explore new places.  Yes, at times it has been challenging for both my husband and I being distant from those we know and love but in reality it has made us closer and stronger as a couple to jump headfirst into the unknown together and we wouldn’t change it for a minute.

(Alnmouth Village - Photo from http://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/holidays/alnmouth

Katie Stewart

Katie Stewart

Katie Stewart intake

Since graduating I have worked for charity, corporate firms and a small family business, I got a feel for business and looked at different organisation structures.

I once worked closely in HR and realised then that Human Resources is what I wanted to do.

I met my husband whilst volunteering as a Community First Responder for the North West Ambulance Service, we're community orientated people and there isn't a better buzz than helping to save a life.

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