16th March 2020 Written by Skills for Health

Frances Nicholson“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.” – Anne Frank

Profound words which we wholeheartedly agree with. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting our Head of Operational Delivery, Fran Nicholson, you’ll know she has a clear goodness which comes across in her personality. Find out more about Fran by taking a few minutes from your day to read her blog below…

What experiences led you to work for WD Trust?

I was recruited into Skills for Justice 11 years ago,as an Operational Manager working across the Police and Fire and Rescue sectors. I was responsible for the operational and contract management throughout the organisation. One of my first responsibilities was the creation of the programme office with 10 project managers, the operational team behind them, as well as the contract management team covering the £5 million contract.

Before this, my experience included large scale recruitment, training and development (over 30 people at a time), the setting up of call centres and outsourcing organisations, including project management with a wide array of clients and partners.

When I moved into the Health sector, I managed the account with Health Education England in the North West and then moved into operational delivery for the group … the rest is history as they say!

What does an average day look like for you?

Like a lot of my colleagues, no one day is the same. A jack of all trades and master of none, which is why I surround myself with great colleagues! On an average day, I can be found working with my team to identify and allocate resources to projects, whilst working closely with the Regional Directors to plan future workload and upcoming opportunities. I also work with our Associate pool to make sure we have the breadth of skills and knowledge required for our needs.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the diversity of my role and the interaction with different areas of the business and clients. It never gets boring and I’m fortunate enough to learn something new every day. It’s great working in a smaller organisation, I enjoy the variety which comes from working on multiple projects and working with the different teams.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

There's a few in the pipeline, primarily, I am working with the team to develop a Justice Sector strategy to build on our current relationships within the sector and identify new organisations where our work could make a difference. I am also developing a product matrix to show how our products and services can support one another and work together. Alongside this, I am looking at developing our services to help support a seamless transition across consultancy and SFJ Awards, so watch this space!

In a perfect world…

The sun would shine, the birds would sing, and I’d speak perfect Spanish! My husband and I have an apartment in Spain so I am trying the learn the language (with a little bit of help from my colleagues Adela and Brenda). Additionally, we are looking for a business we can run from Spain for a few months each year when I retire in May 2021 😊.

My daughter recently moved into her own place, so there is a bit of empty nest syndrome going on, subsequently, we have just moved to a smaller house so we’re knocking walls down and trying very hard to downsize. In preparation for my retirement, I have also thrown myself into learning to cook (a bit late I know) and planning my travels.