‘Hey Mum (a Quilters’ Guild member), guess what? I’m going to work for The Quilters’ Guild’. ‘Finally’ – she rejoiced – ‘my daughter has seen the quilting light’!
Having spent most of my working life in the food industry and tourism, I was ready for a change so I jumped at the chance to cover the Retail Manager’s maternity leave back in 2011 and I never left.
My day starts with me walking a couple of miles to work – good exercise and great to be in the fresh air. The only thing that would make it perfect would be if our dog Sophie could come, she loves a walk.
My current role is Business Manager, which is varied – at times challenging – but very rewarding. My role is split into three parts: bookkeeping, operations and business development.
A typical day is dominated by the bookkeeping as there are always invoices and expenses to process and pay. Then at various times of the month, I run payroll, work out the VAT returns, and reconcile the bank accounts.
As I write, we have just reached our year end (31st October) and I am extremely busy getting everything up-loaded onto our accounts software and processed before the accounts are closed off.
The year end signals my next big finance job which is to create a draft of the annual Trustees report. In this we capture all the great work The Guild has done. As part of the fact finding for this, I always contact The Guild Regions and Specialist Groups for information on events they have run, and those they have attended on behalf of The Guild. Last year they ran 288 events which benefited over 14,343 members and non-members – fantastic work!
Aside from the actual accounts, one of my key finance functions is to process and claim the gift aid. With a valid gift aid declaration we can claim 25p for every £1 spent on membership fees and donations. This is an extremely valuable source of income for The Guild and we are very grateful to all those who have signed up. If you don’t have a printer, we are always happy to post out a form!
When I am not at work glued to a computer I tend to be out in the fresh air and can usually be found walking around in the Lake District. Here I am having scaled a mountain, hill, …… ok, a mound!
So back to the day job. The operational side of my role is the least glamorous but someone has to do it and they are essential tasks, it can be anything from ordering toilet paper to sorting The Guild’s insurances.
On the business development side, I have a regular involvement with the licensing of images of pieces in The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection. Here I am with my colleagues receiving the delivery of the Devon County fabrics. We are actually ‘modelling’ the fabrics which were named after us, ‘Catherine’, Heather & ‘Christine’.
A ‘typical day’? There is no such thing, but that’s what makes it a great organisation to be a part of.