Hi, I’m Linda and I’m a Jog Derbyshire Coordinator at Shift. Read on to find out what my role is all about.
On a typical day, where might we find you?
Mostly we are out and about in the community meeting with different people – Jog leaders, participants, partners, etc – or in the office catching up with some paperwork and team Shift. At the moment this obviously varies as Covid restrictions allow!
What brought you to Shift?
After many years of trying, I finally had my daughter later in life. I was working in HR at the University of Nottingham and whilst I loved my job, I was overjoyed to be a mum and decided to give up work so that I could spend as much time as possible with my new baby. Having been a commuter for over 15 years I didn’t really know anybody locally and was very lonely at first so I decided to join a local mother and baby group where I met some wonderful people and made some lifelong friends. As our children reached the toddler stage, some of us parents decided to set up a Saturday morning ‘Sports Club’ where we could encourage the children to develop their social and gross motor skills using storytelling, equipment and games. One of the parents involved was Andrea Kemp and when we got to know each other, she later told me about a job at her place of work that she thought I might be interested in applying for. I hadn’t really considered going back to work at this stage, but as it was only for a few hours a week I decided that I would go for it and here I am almost 10 years later. One of the best decisions I have ever made 😊
What’s the best thing about your job?
Empowering individuals and communities to come together to exercise is the most rewarding part of my job. Almost every day we hear how jog and other community groups have changed people’s lives for the better – making new friends, doing things they never thought possible like running a 5k, becoming healthier and reversing illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes, volunteering within their group and inspiring others.
What’s your favourite hobby?
I have quite a few hobbies, crafting, reading, cycling, jogging, but my all-time favourite is walking. Being out in nature and the slower speed of walking is what makes it special to me as you can really take notice and appreciate your surroundings and spot smaller details.
My love of walking started when I was a teenager doing my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. My friends and I had such fun learning to map read and explore new places and terrains together. Our Duke of Edinburgh Leader had a real passion for walking which he passed on to us. He especially liked the Lake District and so he used to take us there for our expeditions and extra practice weekends. We camped in tents and stayed in bunk barns and had some great adventures together.
I now belong to a women’s walking group, which has grown from 8 mummy friends in Crich to friends of friends across Derbyshire and there are now over 30 of us in the group. We meet up three times a year for a weekend away to walk and socialise together. It reminds me of my Duke of Edinburgh days, just with a bit of alcohol thrown in! We generally stay in hostels and have explored many new places together and I always come back from those weekends feeling happy and energised.
What’s your favourite place?
I have so many favourite places, but if I had to pick one, it would be Crich Chase. It is an ancient woodland, which is right on my doorstep. It feels magical as soon as you step into it with beautiful old trees, rocks and pathways going off in all directions. I have spent many happy hours there with my family and friends walking, chatting, exploring, building dens and having cookouts.
What’s your favourite quote?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford
If your colleagues could describe you in a few words, what would they say?
Caring, helpful, always happy to listen to others and busy volunteering in community life.