Meet the Team: Laura

Image of Laura smiling against a white background. Her name is in black lettering.

Laura is the newest member of the Euan’s Guide team! As well as being the Euan’s Guide Ambassador Network Manager she is also a keen cyclist and part time Occupational Therapist. Usually she is out and about meeting Ambassadors but recently she has moved to digital outreach, events and is our resident Zoom quizmaster! We spoke to Laura whilst she works from home.

What have you been up to recently?

I’ve been enjoying the quiet that isolation has brought. I’m in a particularly fortunate position that I have access to a garden, so it’s been really nice spending time outdoors, catching up on things and just going at a bit of a slower pace. Although, I took part in the team 2.6 challenge a few weeks back and cycled 262km on my turbo trainer (static bike). Although it sounds like torture, I actually really enjoyed it. I had great messages of support and video calls from people to keep me entertained!

We’ve been working from home recently, how are you finding that?

A challenge…. I’ve never had to work from home before. I hadn’t been working for long in the office before I actually joined the team so it’s been quite strange. I’ve worked from home longer than I’ve worked in the office now. I much prefer being around people and the office ‘chat’, so I’m definitely missing that. But I’m figuring it out, I’ve got my laptop set up on an ironing board to use as a standing desk, have mastered the corners of the house that have the best wi-fi and am resisting the urge to spend the day snacking!

Before you joined the team you were a full time OT – how did you hear about Euan’s Guide?

I was previously working in an acute neurology and neurosurgery setting. I’m quite interested in using innovative technologies to promote function and independence. I went to a ‘Tech for Good’ meet up that Euan’s Guide were speaking at. My first reaction was ‘This is great, how come I’ve never heard of these guys!’. And then I thought about all the people I had worked with as an OT who definitely could benefit from Euan’s Guide. After that, I started sharing Euan’s Guide with colleagues, patients and just kept up to date with what was happening. And lo and behold a job came up and the rest is history. I love being an OT, but it’s great to have the opportunity to work in a non-traditional post where you can use skills you’ve gained to date but also learn things you might not necessarily experience in a traditional setting.

What does your day look like as Ambassador Network Manager?

It varies. Prior to the pandemic, sometimes I was out meeting and catching up with the Ambassadors which I loved. I would also spend quite a bit of time planning some of the Ambassador events which was good fun. We’ve now moved our events online so now my days consist of catching up with Ambassadors virtually on Slack, Facebook, Email, planning our virtual catch ups, and working on and helping out with other Euan’s Guide projects.

Screenshot of a Zoom chat call showing the Euan's Guide team and some Ambassadors waving.

You have been the resident quizmaster and catch up co-ordinator recently, do you have more events planned for the team and Ambassadors?

Yes, it’s been great fun! Finally, I have the opportunity to display my eclectic hat collection as quizmaster! I’ve got some more quizzes planned and maybe some other ideas for when the quiz fatigue hits in… you’ll have to stay tuned to find out. It’s been really nice having the Virtual coffee, cake and catch ups with the Ambassadors. Often during the quiz you don’t actually get much of a chance to speak to people and catch up, so I really enjoy the catch ups and another opportunity for some cake and midday snacking which is always good!

What else do you like to do in your spare time?

If you hadn’t already gathered, I’m a bit of a keen cyclist! I just enjoy exercise in general, so most evenings after work you’ll most likely catch me in my lycra off for an evening spin, run or circuits session. I quite enjoy arts and crafts so have been loving having the extra time during isolation to get some things done. My sister is getting married in January and I’m on ‘Signs and decoration’ duty so I’ve been doing the mock-ups for that before I get painting!

What is your favourite place to travel to and why?

I’m from Ireland, just outside Dublin. My dad’s family are from the West coast of Ireland in County Mayo. I love the West coast of Ireland. It’s one of those places that’s untouched and just so beautiful. We used to spend our summers there growing up and I love going back.There’s so much to do from cycling, walks, history, water sports you name it. So for someone who’s a bit of an outdoor activity fanatic- its paradise! We’re supposed to be going in August, fingers crossed we’ll make it there!

Do you have a favourite type of accessible venue?

As someone who loves sport and exercise, seeing accessible venues and sports/experiences is great. I’m all about the exercise endorphins and having facilities and sports that are accessible and inclusive is a winner for me.

Do you have any goals for the future that you’d like to project into the universe?  

My goal is to be happy and do good! By do good I mean both be successful in whatever it is I do but also I want to ‘do good’ and help others as and where I can in both a personal and professional capacity along the way.

Want to talk to Laura or anyone else at Euan's Guide? Get in touch!

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