A conversation with former Head Gardener, Paul
Our Head Gardener, Paul has recently moved to a new role at the University of Oxford. Before we said goodbye we asked him a few questions about his time at Phyllis Court.
How long have you been at Phyllis Court?
December 2019 marked 5 and a half years!
What roles have you had during your time at the Club?
I originally came here with my school on work experience, thinking this might be the line of work I would like to get into. After finishing my college course, I managed to get the job of Gardener. I originally thought that I would stay for a year or two but after spending just under two years here the Head Gardener left. I was offered the amazing opportunity of becoming Head Gardener and I have not looked back since.
Whilst at Phyllis Court I also got the chance to take a leading position in the clubs Health & Safety. I was able to carry out further training and complete my IOSH certification (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health). I was also heavily involved in the building of the £4.2million Fitness Centre, working with a diverse set of people across many different sectors to complete the project on time and most importantly on budget!
What training have you completed in your area?
Following on from my Level 3 Horticulture Extended Diploma at college, Phyllis Court has offered me lots of in-house training such as customer service and handling difficult situations. I have also been very lucky to get my Professional PA1/6 chemical spraying and pole chainsaw certifications. Also, as mentioned previously, my IOSH certification most recently.
What have you learnt whilst being at Phyllis Court?
SO much! How to be a good manager, and how to avoid being a bad one. How companies and organisations work, business processes, managing Health and Safety, working with members of the public and managing teams of people.
I could list so many things, but I think most importantly that if you do a job you love you will never work a day in your life!
What will you miss most about working at Phyllis Court?
That’s a very hard questions to answer. So much, the people, the place, my team but I think overall Phyllis Court gets into your blood. There is something you can’t explain that gives you the freedom to achieve anything you want if you have the right attitude and the patience to make it work.
Which opportunities outside of your job role have you engaged with and how has this helped you progress?
I have been lucky enough to chair the Club Management Team meetings which gives you a fantastic view into how a management structure works and how to effectively manage meetings. Moving on from that opportunity, I have been allowed to start up a Staff Consultative Committee (SCC). This committee is made up from staff across the Club and under my leadership its directive was to tackle issues that affect all members of staff and generally try to make working here as fantastic as possible.
What advice would you give to people joining Phyllis Court?
If you see an opportunity, grab it! You might not be able to see how it will benefit you at the time, but it will believe me, go for it and don’t look back. You miss 100% of the chances you never take.