Wellington Place is more than just bricks and mortar, it’s a thriving community powered by people. This series of interviews aims to highlight some of the people of Wellington Place, share their inspirational stories and find out why Wellington Place is much more than just a place to work…
People of Wellington Place: Tammy Goddard
Interview with Tammy Goddard, Training and Support Officer at the Legal Aid Agency, 5 Wellington Place
Tammy has worked for the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) for the last two and a half years, after leaving the prison service due to an osteoarthritis diagnosis. Tammy is now responsible for developing and delivering training to LAA staff and solicitors who use the company’s services.
Tell us a little bit about what you do…
“Prior to joining the LAA, I was a Prison Officer. I’m sure you’ve seen the films, documentaries and videos on the news – I’m not going to lie, it’s all that and more!
“To be a Prison Officer, you need a special set of skills – resilience, teamwork, quick decision making, and the potential ability to be a leader. When you think of being a leader, it’s not just about promotion and climbing the ladder to the top, it’s about leading the prisoners whilst helping them to adapt and change their behaviours to learn and develop new skills.
“No two days were the same – in fact, no morning and afternoon were the same! A typical day involved supervising prisoners, supervising visits, escorting prisoners to hospital and other prisons, dealing with incidents, searching prisoners, staff, visitors, cells, and vehicles. We would also promote and take part in rehabilitation programmes and develop professional working relationships with healthcare and probation staff. This is, of course, a very small list of some of the day-to-day tasks. One thing is for sure, it certainly wasn’t boring!
“I had to leave the service after I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my thumb joints. It’s very painful and sometimes my thumbs don’t work as quick as you want them to. I couldn’t continue my role as a Prison Officer as I was putting myself and my colleagues at risk – it could have had serious implications to our safety!
“I wanted to stay within the Ministry of Justice and wanted to push myself with a new challenge! I scoured the job pages and saw an advert for the LAA. Drawing on my work skills, I applied and was successful!
“I am now a Training and Support Officer for the Legal Aid Agency. My role includes developing and delivering training to LAA staff and solicitors who use our services. I am part of the wellbeing team for the Leeds office, which allows me to collaborate with different agencies and charities in the surrounding area. It’s such a rewarding job, I love it!”
What’s your greatest achievement to date?
“I was chosen by the Rotary International to take part in a cultural and vocational experience in The Philippines. I spent five weeks touring different parts of the many islands, where I had the opportunity to visit a variety of jails and speak to both staff and prisoners.
“I swam with whale sharks (such glorious creatures), I climbed the smallest volcano in the world, went to a gun range, stood on a beautiful island in the middle of the ocean, and so much more!
“It was magnificent to experience the culture too, as I stayed at local family homes. I got really good at karaoke – many of the families I stayed with had their own karaoke machines and they would be in use morning, noon, and night!
“It truly was an experience I will never forget, and it was such an honour to be chosen for the opportunity .”
Tell us something exciting that most people don’t know…
“As a teenager I represented Lincolnshire in Ten Pin Bowling! I was on TV and was awarded my trophy by Bob ‘give me a p please’ Holness.
“I also met Robbie Williams in a pub in Wandsworth!”
What is your favourite thing about working at Wellington Place and why?
“It’s so centrally located. Having the short walk to the city centre is ideal. I love the open spaces too and having the opportunity to use them during the spring and summer months.
“I love the modern feel of the buildings and the tech that is on offer to us – a far cry from the working conditions in most prisons!”
Which community events do you take part in at Wellington Place and why?
“I joined the HIIT classes during lockdown – it was hard work, but so great that they have these classes on offer, and completely free of charge. It certainly helped my mental wellbeing!
“I love the market days and food stalls, there’s nothing better than spending a lunch break wandering around the grounds. It sometimes reminds me of balmy sunny afternoons on holiday, tasting different cuisines and looking at the range of goods on offer.”
What three words sum up Wellington Place to you?
Community – There is a real sense of community and togetherness.
Professional – Wellington Place looks smart, elegant, and has a real professional feel to it. It’s clean and modern, a complex that you’re proud to walk into.
Central – As well as being an ideal location that’s close to the city centre and transport hubs, it’s also just a few minutes away from a lovely canal walk.
Thanks to Tammy for taking part in the interview. If you would like to tell your story or wish to nominate someone to take part in the People of Wellington Place series please email firstname.lastname@example.org