Tuesday, October 6, 2020

“Catherine Furlong has worked with us since November 2019 and has completely transformed all of our experiences of working in the Director’s office in that time. We did have a few temporary staff prior to Catherine in this position that found the role tough and we recognise that it is exceptionally busy and challenging one. Catherine has managed the diaries of two senior colleagues, one of whom is the Director of one of the largest departments within the University and has multiple significant roles outside of the Institute in addition to working as a clinician at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Among a huge range of duties, Catherine has to manage booking worldwide travel arrangements, liaise with staff in other countries and time zones to coordinate agendas, work with a range of stakeholders and our partners (including Great Ormond Street Hospital and GOSH Children’s Charity) and she has very quickly established excellent relationships with all of them.

Our office is a busy one and Catherine always has a (currently virtual!) and helpful approach. Catherine achieves the right balance of being friendly and helpful while being firm when needed- for example, she seems to work miracles with the Director and Institute Manager’s busy diaries, finding solutions to diary clashes and/or times for them to meet people that might have seemed impossible. This enables us to move work forwards more quickly as a department than we otherwise would or did before she joined us.

Catherine steps outside of the direct role that she is there to perform and mucks in as part of the team, and for this she has become well-loved across the Institute- for example, coordinating leaving messages for colleagues who have recently left, arranging a fun quiz and sorting an Thai Chi session as part of our wellbeing week for professional services staff, to virtually checking-in with colleagues to see if they are OK. She has a really fun and lovely nature and she finds the humour in life which makes us all feel calmer. She hits the right note always with what she needs to bring to any given situation. Catherine has been truly magnificent while we have managed through the stress of getting everyone out of the building and have transitioned to working remotely, checking in regularly, always consistent and supportive of everyone and keeping people’s spirits up with kind words and messages, despite not being able to leave her home much at the beginning of lock down. 

One of the absolute best things about Catherine (and the thing that we currently really miss!) is that she bakes us all delicious cakes every now and again. We will miss these until we can see her again, but in the meantime, she shares her recipes and sends photos of her baking wonders so at least we can feast with our eyes :) We recently extended Catherine’s contract to the end of the year as we are so keen to keep her as part of the team”.  

Leanne popped along (via Teams) this afternoon with a £50 voucher and a certificate. Congratulations Catherine! Apologies for the delay in announcing the winner for this particular quarter. We were hoping the current situation may have eased and we could present in person, but this has proven not to be the case, so we wanted to award now, virtually :)

Finally thanks to everyone who made a nomination.  The nominees have been notified and are so grateful for the recognition the nominations give them.
Your feedback and recommendations are so important and appreciated by the nominees and everyone here at Gray & Associates.

Nominations for the next quarter (July – September) are now in and we will be picking a winner very soon, so please bear with us for that announcement shortly.