Alison joined the Somerset Health Checks team in May as our new Admin Support Officer. Bubbly and always positive, she has been a great addition to our team.
Joining during lockdown has meant we have had to do things a little differently, but we have got to know her through video calls and some socially distant coffee catch ups.
We thought it was about time everyone else was introduced to Alison, so here’s an interview with her.
Katie: Where did you grow up?
Alison: We moved around a few times when I was young but I was originally born in Bristol. We moved on to Fareham, York and then Southampton, so schooling was a little disruptive! I lived in Spain for 2 years at the age of 19, spending a few months there as an au pair, then doing other little jobs.
Katie: Wow, so you’ve moved around a bit! How long have you lived in Somerset?
Alison: I have lived in Somerset for the last 4 years and I really love it. There is so much culture, heritage and beauty within the County. My favourite place to visit in Somerset are the levels. I go cycling there with my husband as often as we can; stopping by the River Brue and finding a Heron’s nest – that was amazing.
Katie: So you are keen on cycling, what are your other interests?
Alison: My hobbies are mostly creative- sewing; gardening; macrame. I am very keen on keeping fit so cycling, walking and using a cross trainer are my exercises every week, plus a daily (well, almost daily!) yoga session and qigong. Spiritually, I have a keen interest in Buddhism, the Tao philosophy, and meditation. My grandchildren are also a lovely source of occupation for me! And books, I absolutely love reading!
Katie: What have you read recently?
Alison: I am currently reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It’s the first Dickens book I’ve ever read and it’s really good!
Katie: What would be your perfect rainy afternoon movie?
Alison: My favourite afternoon movie would be Love Story with Ryan O Neal and Ali McGraw, and also A Star is Born, the original version with Barbara Streisand.
Katie: Early bird or night owl?
Alison: I am more an early bird; I like to get up and do some exercise and meditation if I can.
Katie: What is your favourite sport?
Alison: I like to play a bit of badminton (at home with a net!)
Katie: What was the first album you bought?
Alison: The first 2 albums I bought were Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie, and one by Diana Ross (can’t remember the name) which became so scratched from playing them all the time.
Katie: What’s your favourite song to get you on the dance floor?
Alison: I go mad to dance for Kings of Leon, Sex is on Fire……makes me crazy dancing! And Rebel Rebel by David Bowie.
Katie: Favourite band?
Alison: Musically, I grew up idolising and listening to David Bowie and was a teenager in the punk years so loved listening to The Clash, The Jam, The Pretenders etc and Ska music. I now have a range of different music that I listen to including classical, a bit of opera (Pavarotti), rock (Rolling Stones), and absolutely love REM – one of the best albums is Automatic for the People. My son is a brilliant musician – he plays guitars and sings his own stuff and used to be in a band. I am very much a fan of his music style (and not just because I am his mum!).
Katie: Do you have any pets?
Alison: If you had asked me a few months ago what my favourite pet is, I would have said a dog (which we have had 3, but now left with 1), but we recently got a little ginger tomcat called Monty and he is my favourite at the moment, so I guess I could say I prefer cats right now! But if a Sloth were ever to become a pet, I would definitely get one.
Katie: What are your favourite foods?
Alison: I like a lot of different foods, but very much whatever is healthy. I am obsessed with healthy eating that I feel guilty when I have a pizza!! I love middle eastern foods, italian and spanish. I make a fabulous paella. My husband is spanish so I had to learn quickly!
Katie: What’s your favourite holiday location?
Alison: My favourite holiday I have had was in Sorrento in Italy, although we regularly go to Spain and I love Barcelona and Sitges (where my mother in law lives).
Katie: Where did you work before this?
Alison: I used to run and own a floristry shop in Bristol when the children were young and then moved onto working in mental health and addiction services. I was at UWE for 2 years studying for a Counselling Diploma and worked for Bristol Mind, Rethink and DHI. Most recently, after moving to Somerset I worked for Health Connections and also ran my own holiday home near Wells.
Katie: How are you finding your new role?
Alison: I started working for Thrive Tribe during lockdown as a Support Officer, so working remotely from home was a bit of a struggle and strange to say the least; not being able to meet the team as you would normally do. However, I am lucky to be part of a very strong, supportive team and they made me feel so very welcome. I am enjoying parts of the job that I can do at this moment in time, and look forward to fulfilling the rest of my role when things get back to some sense of normal. Thrive Tribe are a great company to work for and have made the best of a difficult situation.