Jess works in the Finance Department at British Land and uses her naturally energetic and passionate personality to bring others together. Most recently she coordinated the largest MacMillan Coffee Morning in the area involving over 15 companies and match-funding to raise £10,243.82 for MacMillan Cancer.
1Can you explain your role in one sentence?I work as a PA in the Finance Department for the British Land Company. I am lucky to get lots of opportunities to volunteer for the community through work and most recently this involved planning and organising a MacMillan coffee morning for my colleagues, as well as the Marble Arch community.
2How long have you been doing this job?I have worked for British Land for almost six years. This is the first time I have been involved in organising a McMillan coffee morning.
3Did you find yourself in this role by accident or by design?Taking on the organisation of the MacMillan coffee morning sort of happened by accident. I have had cancer twice and returned to work about a year ago. I have always enjoyed doing things for charity and MacMillan have done so much to support me and my family. British Land have held coffee mornings in the past, but I was keen to organise something a little bigger, I just didn’t know how to go about it. I started talking to colleagues and other occupiers in York House and was amazed how keen people were to get on board. The event built its own momentum and because of that we raised £10,243.82 for MacMillan. The best accident ever.
4What’s the best part about your job / role? I am a born planner and so organising this event fed my love of lists and coordinating. I have been very unwell and when you come back from something like that, you find you need more purpose in life. I really enjoy making other people happy and have found the whole experience of organising the coffee morning to be really fulfilling.
5What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened to you in your job? It’s not really strange, but I have found it surprising how much the coffee morning achieved and how many people we reached. Ultimately this is just cake and coffee, but I suppose the cause carries with it so much emotion, people are keen to support.
6What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?I am a nature girl at heart. I love cycling, hiking and swimming and have just come back from a holiday in Scotland where I have enjoyed spending lots of time outside. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Perhaps it’s because now that I am well again, I want to prove my body can do more.
7What do you like about this area? One of our values at British Land is to bring your whole self to work and Marble Arch allows me to do this. From going to boot camp in Hyde Park, singing in the choir at The Carpenters Arms, the chance to volunteer in a local school, the easy transport connections and lovely coffee shops – it really is a great place to be.
8Where’s your favourite place to go for lunch in the local area? There are so many wonderful places – Vinoteca, The Gate and The Portman are all favourites; but pizza at Sandys is the best. It’s simple, great value and the staff are always so helpful.
9Who is YOUR hero and what is it about them that inspires you?This may sound sentimental but I have to say my Mum. She taught me the values that have made me who I am. I must also recognise the team of people around me. I couldn’t have done what was achieved at the coffee morning without British Land, my team, the social committee, the building managers and everyone else who supported this event.
10If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? Easy answer to this. Since being a little girl I have always wanted to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. My husband and I used to live in Kenya and were planning to climb the mountain in 2008 when war broke out and we had to evacuate the area. Then a few years ago when we planned the trip again, I fell ill. Our aim now is to tackle the challenge in Autumn 2019. No doubt I will do some fundraising on my way to the top – probably in the name of MacMillan.