From childhood ambitions to her role today, meet Alison Cook, Project Manager/Surveyor in North Tyneside for Capita Local Public Services.
1. Tell us about your role at Capita Local Public Services?
I’m based in our North Tyneside office and work within the Property team. It’s a twin-hatted role that switches between the Projects team and Surveying Team. I will work on projects when the demand is there and do surveying when the team needs support on its core work for the council.
It provides better service resilience, enables us to provide more support where it’s needed and adapt to the council’s needs as a client.
2. What do you like most about your role?
Dealing with the local authority’s tenants. I like it when we have a happy tenant who is fully satisfied with their unit and the service we can provide.
3. If you could describe Capita in three words, what would it be?
Challenging, supportive, friendly.
4. What is your biggest success or proudest moment at Capita?
A few years back, helping North Tyneside Council to rationalise its estates portfolio enabled more than £1million to be invested in vacant units. I thoroughly enjoyed working on that - the refurbished units were completed to a really high standard. We’ve now got high demand for many our industrial estate units.
5. Tell us something people might not know about Capita Local Public Services?
That we have a Projects team within our property team on North Tyneside. The Projects team has a mix of experience, skills and backgrounds which enables the team to support a wide range of customer projects and business case development. Projects are usually property-focussed such as strategic asset management planning and operational footprint reduction but also include change management and business improvement. The team is very agile and we base ourselves with clients in order to work more closely with them. We specialise in project recovery and are there to get involved when things haven’t gone so well for a client.
Over to you…
6. When you were a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
An occupational therapist – I don’t know what happened to that.
7. What do you do in your spare time?
I like the usual stuff such as cooking and going to the cinema. I’ve got two rescue greyhounds, Barney and Hannah (we didn’t choose the names) – from Northumberland Greyhound Rescue. I’ve also got two teenagers, but they know that the dogs come above them in the pecking order! One teenager is applying to join the navy, the other will be doing their GCSEs, so it’s a busy time.
8. If you had to eat just one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
Probably some sort of salad. Forget that – chips!
9. What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
Not to jump to conclusions about people.
10.Tell us something people might not know about you.
I have a degree, it was in information design, which is all about putting information in a way that’s easily understandable and people want to engage with. I find the skills I acquired useful when developing processes.