Continuing our Day in the Life feature, giving an insight into the work we do here at Climb, and showcasing the different roles that the team performs, their aspirations, celebrations and the challenges that they face.
Today we are putting our Development and Engagement Co-ordinator Julie Kempster in the spotlight! With her bubbly personality and fantastic baking ability, we love our Jules here at Climb HQ!
Name: Julie Kempster
Position: Development and Engagement co-ordinator
How long have you worked at Climb? 18 months
Tell us a little bit about your role and what you do on a day to day basis
I work closely with both families and professionals to promote the services Climb offer. I am currently involved in a new outreach project, attending Metabolic Clinics around the country and being the ‘Face of Climb’. We would like to engage with more patients and families and we feel the personal touch is a good way forward. I will be offering a Climb pack, showing the services we can offer, especially family contacts, which we know plays such an important part in many families lives, especially when they have a rare disease. Also, I can be on hand to answer any questions. So exciting times!
I also meet with professionals so they can develop a better understanding of Metabolic Disorders. I have already been out and about giving talks to Community Health Visitors, School Nurses and Health Care Students, among others.
I work very closely with Helen our Information and Research Officer; she has amazing knowledge of Metabolic Disorders, and has great links with many health professionals. Our desks are next to each other and we have table top ping pong matches, but have sadly lost our ping pong ball!
What keeps you motivated to come to work each day?
People – seeing the positive impact Climb has in supporting the Metabolic community. Also, I think it is privilege to be a voice for patients. Until I came to work at Climb, I hadn’t really heard about Metabolic Disorders and the work Climb does, so it’s important to raise Metabolic awareness.
What do you like best about your job?
Again the people, from the Climb team to families to professionals. It’s a great team at Climb and a fun place to come to work.
What are the main challenges you face and how do you tackle them?
One of the challenges I face is travelling to the outreach Metabolic Clinics and the cost of transport. Train fares are not cheap but we recently have applied for discount charity train fare and hopefully if we are accepted it will have a positive impact.
Do you have any funny stories from work?
I was at finish line at the 2016 London Marathon watching our runners cross the line. I had positioned myself at the top of the stand to get the best view of the runners coming along The Mall. I suddenly spotted a bright green Climb running vest, so shouting encouragement to our runner, while waving the Climb banners, I proceeded very quickly down the steps to the barriers. In my eagerness I nearly slipped over, I just managed to regain my composure to wave him past!!!
What is your proudest achievement at Climb?
Last year I supported the Climb London Marathon team, I really got to know all of the runners, the reasons behind each of them running for Climb. I think I shared their highs and lows, and lots of laughs. I felt very emotional as I stood and watch them all cross the first line, and can’t wait to do it all again this year!
Running the Marathon is a massive achievement and I think few of us realised how much time, effort and sacrifice goes in to undertaking this amazing challenge.
What do you like to do outside of work?
- Shopping and buying shoes!!! (I have to hide any new pairs from my husband!)
- Cooking, I’m addict to cookery books (76 at the last count!)
- Early morning swimming, it’s when I do all my thinking.
- I live in a very rural location, so love being outside, growing our own produce and our ride-on tractor!
And finally, a few quick fire questions, just for fun!
Favourite colour? Purple
The last film you watched? Sicario
Favourite song? What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong, and the Climb song ‘At half past 3 we go home to tea…’ (we sing this in the office every day at 3.30pm!)
Who would play you in a film about your life? Lauren Graham (she played Lorelai Gilmore in the Gilmore Girls). We have a lot in common, she talks really fast, loves coffee and has a very sarcastic sense of humour!
Coffee or Tea? Champagne!!
Thank you Julie, we’ve enjoyed getting to know you better!