Nichola joined Waverley Care in October 1991 and is Manager of our Children and Families Project. She took time out to tell us a bit more about her life and work.
What inspired you to come to work for Waverley Care?
I was working in a social work children’s centre in Edinburgh and was supporting a family affected by HIV. I didn’t really know anything about the condition so, when Milestone House Hospice was offering a volunteer training course, I decided to go along. During that time a post came up and I applied. The rest is history.
What different roles have you had?
I started out part-time and was responsible for setting up the Children and Families project. There was a clear need for specific support for children and young people living with or affected by HIV, and the post quickly became fulltime. In 2006, I became Children and Families Manager and, thanks to BBC Children in Need funding, we were able to recruit another member of staff to provide support Scotland-wide.
Can you tell us a bit more about your current role?
No two days are ever the same. We provide a range of support for families including support groups and activity groups, residential holidays for children and young people, and outreach work with families in the community. I’ve worked with over 500 families and kept in touch with many of the young people who are now parents themselves. The project has been a crucial link to young people who lost their parents in the early 90s.
What do you enjoy most about your work at Waverley Care?
The most rewarding part is watching the children and young people grow in confidence and self-esteem as they get involved with the project.
Tell us a little more about you, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to go walking in the countryside or on a beach, enjoy spending time with my son and like to watch a movie or two with a wee glass of red wine!
Who would play you in a movie of your life?
Susan Sarandon – a strong female role model. I see myself and my colleague Lynne as Thelma and Louise characters!
Where is your favourite place to visit on holiday?
I’m fond of the Highlands in Scotland and have travelled to many different countries, including India. I don’t have a particular favourite and feel there’s still many parts of the world I‘d like to explore.
Who inspires you?
Growing up, I was inspired by my Brownie/Guide leaders. It led me to my work with children and young people, who inspire me every day.