Our Business Support Team Leader, Kristina Ansell, recently celebrated 25 years’ service with Kingdom.
We caught up with her as she reflected on her journey with us – and shared what an alternative career might have looked like.
You joined our organisation in December 1997. What were you doing before then and why did you decide to get on board?
Way back then, I had just finished an HND in Office Management and Information Technology at Fife College, having returned to college as an adult learner when my daughter was on the cusp of starting high school. I had been a stay at home mum prior to this as my husband worked away from home. I had made friends in my class with people who already worked for the Kingdom Housing Association (KHA) and attended college on a day release basis.
As part of my course in year 2 I had to do a two-week work placement and guess where I landed? Yes, at KHA’s office in Natal Place in Cowdenbeath which was then the office of our support and care service. After experiencing the varied work, engagement with people we supported and the friendly culture in the organisation, I applied for bank staff work in August 1997 then secured a permanent Admin Assistant part time post in December 1997.
KHA at this time was a growing organisation, full of opportunities for career development. I have been lucky enough to be part of it over the last 25 years.
You are Business Support Team Leader with Kingdom Support and Care (KSC). What are the main responsibilities of your role and what’s the best thing about your job?
In my role as Business Support Team Leader I work as part of the KSC management team, with the remit of providing comprehensive business support services which enable us to manage, monitor and improve all areas of our business performance. I have a lead role in specific areas including income and budgeting, tenders, digital, contract compliance and training strategy. I also have an organisational role in areas shared with the Kingdom Group, including data protection and procurement.
Supported by Lorraine Reekie and Lee Herd, I head up our Business Support Team – who are all amazing – and together we deliver a wide and varied range of functions covering everything from recruitment, onboarding, training and induction and administrative support to keeping our tea rooms and stationery cupboards well stocked!
The best thing for sure about my job is the variety – no two days are the same, I have never stopped learning something new or different and that is what keeps me motivated.
You have committed 25 years to KSC and the wider Kingdom Group. What changes have you seen over that time?
Oh my goodness. It has changed, changed and changed again over the years, so it’s hard to capture it all. But I would say some of the main things are the innovative wider activities that have been developed over the years that add value to the communities we live and work in.
There were huge changes when Kingdom Support and Care became a subsidiary in 2017, although we are still very much part of the Kingdom Group. It did feel a bit scary at the time but it has proven to be a positive and successful change.
The growth in all areas of Kingdom Group’s work over 25 years means the number of staff and the variety of roles are now immense. When I joined the organisation back in 1997, the organisation was so small everyone knew each other and how many sugars folks took in their tea!
On a personal note I have moved across roles and departments so I have had the opportunity and support to upskill, learn, gain qualifications, grow and develop into the role I hold now.
On the day you joined Kingdom, the best-selling song was an all-star version of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. What’s your perfect day, at work and outside of work?
KSC’s office in Dunfermline is a happy place to work. Although we all work hard and it is a busy working environment, there is always, at some point of the day, the sound of laughter and chatter coming from somewhere! For me a belly laughing day is a perfect day at work while still getting our work done!
Outside of work, my perfect day is always spent with family and friends. I prefer summer to winter so a nice family day out with a picnic lunch and lots of sunshine at one of the beautiful places around Fife would make me smile.
What’s your favourite film, and why?
I am a lover of the classic black and white movies and my very favourite is Brief Encounter from 1945. I just love the dramatic background music, the twists and turns of the forbidden love story, the styling and the skill of the actors of those times.
Can you share something about you that might surprise your colleagues?
As a teenager I played netball at County level when I lived in England. My dream back then was to be a PE teacher, but the twists and turns of life put me on a different path.
Although I love my current role, I sometimes still wonder what if…
If you ruled the world, what would you change?
I would want fairness and equality for everyone – at every level – across the world, with injustice eradicated.
Looking to the future, what does success look like for KSC and the individuals we support?
KSC is a wonderful organisation to be part of, with supportive and dedicated colleagues. Success for us, I think, would be to have a completely full and happy staff team who enable and empower the individuals we support to lead rich lives, reach their potential and fulfil their aspirations.
Congratulations to Kristina on achieving 25 years’ service and special thanks for the significant contribution she has made to the effective and successful operation of our organisation.