Meet Penny, HR Director | Bristol Community Health Careers Bristol Community Health


HR Director

“There’s real value and purpose in what we do and it makes even the tough days worthwhile.”

  • Tell us about your role. What do you get up to on a typical day/week?

    No day or week is typical for me – as a director, I get involved in work linked to the teams I lead – HR, Marketing and Communications, Learning and Development and so can be helping with something quite technical one minute, and the next, can be developing strategy, delivering an event, writing a board paper, chairing a meeting, talking to my colleagues and the people in my team to help them and to ask them to help me. In the last two weeks, I’ve been almost completely out of the office delivering the launch of our new strategy. Today, I’ve finished that roll out and am now in Clevedon meeting with another HR director to talk about collaboration and to do some planning.

  • What’s the best thing about working at BCH? What motivated you to join the organisation?

    I’ve always worked in jobs with a public service element and this is important to me, but the job at BCH was one where I could see the direct link between what I do and making lives better for other people. There’s real value and purpose in what we do and it makes even the tough days worthwhile. I also get to work in a city I live in and care about and this makes me feel part of something special.

  • Describe the working culture here?

    For me, as the working mother of 3 small children, BCH is incredible. I am writing this from my car, before I go into a meeting and I am lucky enough to be part of an organisation that understands how a flexible, positive culture really works – that flexibility in an organisation that knows I am more than my job and that offering flexibility actually enhances the job I can do. I work in different ways, at different times of day and in different places but my output and my levels of motivation are much higher because my work and home life fit around each other. I am absolutely committed to transforming BCH from within so that everyone has a place here that works with their home life too.

  • What do you think makes someone successful here?

    Positivity, team work and collaboration, doing what you say you will and looking ahead, both in terms of planning for what’s coming but also in identifying opportunities and making them happen here. We’re a staff owned social enterprise with community at our heart – we should all be looking for ways to connect, improve and innovate and people who do this naturally, get on really well here.

  • Tell us about the learning and development and career progression opportunities?

    For me, I have grown as a director primarily through the mentorship, guidance and challenge of the great board here and with the support of a fantastic executive coach. None of us ever stop learning and keeping my skills fresh, challenging myself to improve at things I’ve been doing for years are important to me – BCH offers loads of great training, whenever I do anything we put on, I’m always delighted with the quality.

  • What do you think employees would say about the service you provide?

    Having just delivered the strategy and had feedback from staff from it, I know that my thinking on our ‘people first’ agenda has been well received. Not everything is perfect all the time and this is an organisation where we listen to feedback and act on it and where we are always trying to make things better. Our job in HR is to enable our brilliant clinicians to do their jobs well – to make lives better. If by the end of each day, I’ve made at least one life better, then I know I’m on the right track.

Back to stories