This is a series of Day in the Life of blogs we're running to give an insight into the team here at MVDA.
Sue Naylor is Finance and Operations Manager at MVDA.
How long you’ve been at MVDA, what's your role and what did you do before you worked here?
I’ve been working for MVDA for over 4 years now. My title is Finance and Operations Manager – basically I do finance, office management and look for new opportunities and generally anything that comes my way (Sue also runs the Freebies scheme for MVDA distributing donated goods - Editor).
I’ve worked in the Voluntary and Community sector, locally for over 36 years (gosh that’s flown by). I started as a part-time receptionist for Teesside Council for Voluntary Service back in 1986, worked for them in all their name changes (TCVS, CCVS, and One Voice Tees Valley) undertaking various roles, mainly finance and office management was even a PA to the CEO for a while, until 2005. I then went to work for Tees Valley Rural Community Council as Finance/Office Manager until joining MVDA.
What time do you normally get up?
I usually get up around 6am, sometimes before depends what’s racing through my mind of things I need to do.
What’s your morning routine before leaving the house?
I don’t have a set routine at all, just do what I need to do that morning. I find that my life is quite complex at times. Juggling quite a lot of stuff currently as I'm also a carer for my dad that lives around 50 miles away, which brings its own challenges, to say the least. But basically, I get a shower then just potter about doing odd little jobs that I hadn’t managed to complete the day before, make a fuss of my little dog Tilly and our new house member, Charlie the Budgie (Charlie has come to live with my daughter and I because my dad unfortunately can't look after him anymore) until it’s time to leave to drop my daughter, Sophie off at work in Stockton then I head into the office for 9am.
Tilly with her little fluffy duck
Describe a typical morning at MVDA.
Hah, no such thing for me, I think I’m safe to say that each and every day is totally different and it's great. I do feel sorry for my colleagues sometimes as they never know what they are coming into. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have taken over the boardroom and changed it into what you can only call a warehouse. I’ve been working hard accessing and distributing all sorts of surplus items from paper cups to support belts donated from local companies to voluntary groups.
What do you do for lunch?
Oh! I don’t really do lunch as such; I snack at my desk and make my colleagues fat by leaving sweets (only the ones I don’t like) and biscuits for them to share.
Describe a typical afternoon at MVDA.
Again I don’t think there is such a thing. A few years ago, there well may have been but not now. I spend most of my working week in the office on my own, which I don’t mind at all, colleagues pop in over the course of the week when their roles dictate. But we do all try to get together at least one day a week on a Thursday for a catch-up. I normally have to go around on the day before and try and tidy up and make sure there is space to get into the building downstairs. I’m not joking sometimes I’ve collected so much stock to donate to other VCS groups that space is short. I find myself running up and down the stairs meeting groups and allocating them their items as well as doing all my other office management and finance tasks.
The board room at capacity!
How do you wind down in the evening?
Sophie and I walk our little dog Tilly (miniature Jack Russel) then I talk to and clean out Charlie, he is a character and keeps telling our little dog off for barking. “Shut up Tilly” he says. He has picked up loads of new words, all clean, since living with Sophie and I. Then it's usually time to make the tea. After tea sometimes I do a little housework or lounge in front of the TV for an hour before heading off to bed around 11 and then it all starts again at 6 the next morning.
What’s the best part of your job?
I like that no two days are the same, I love the challenge of finding new homes for all the weird and wonderful items that are offered to us. Again, sorry to all my colleagues as I always have loads of interesting items all over the place.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
If I’m honest the most challenging part of my job at the moment is saying NO to goods offered, I suppose I’ve always been like it though, I say Yes then worry about what I’m going to do with it later. Apart from that I’m not sure, except for fitting everything into one day that I want to or need to achieve.
What’s your biggest work achievement/something you’re most proud of that’s happened in the last 12 months?
I would have to say the work that I’ve been doing on the distribution of free goods. I love it and I think it's such a fantastic opportunity not only for MVDA but for the local VCS as a whole.