595 days ago
Linda Semple-Lauchlan is a cleaning team leader at the Leonardo Helicopters site in Yeovil which builds and develops helicopters for the Ministry of Defence.
How long have you worked at Leonardo Helicopters?
I will have been here 29 years in October this year.
What was your first role?
I was a cleaner and my first shift was on a Monday night working six till nine, which fitted in perfectly with my little family at the time.
Have you had any other roles since then?
I've been a charge hand, a lead charge hand, a supervisor and a senior supervisor. I've now been team leader for about six months.
How does a typical day unfold?
I love my job because no two days are the same. I often join the guys out in the field. I could be out cleaning, training or working alongside the team and client - or just having team huddles.
Do you get to see helicopters being built?
Yes. They get built in different stages across different areas of the site. So I get to see them come together as they move around. Being team leader I go around the whole of the site and get to see it stage-by-stage. Not that I'm going to those areas for that reason - I go to those areas to make sure the guys are OK!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy working with all the guys. I couldn't imagine working anywhere else now. I feel part of a good, strong team down there. I've got to know the clients and customers as well and a lot of them know me by name. We've grown together as the years have gone by.
The amount of time I've been here shows I enjoy doing what I'm doing.
How important are the cleaning teams?
They're really important. Everybody mucks in. I'm among those on the 'on-call' list should extra help be needed at a weekend. When the client gives us praise for our work we always let the team know. A 'thank you' goes a long way.
Have there been any significant changes since you first started?
People used to be able to smoke in the offices when I first started. It was absolutely fantastic when smoking was banned from the offices because before you would be walking through smoke and picking up ash and cigarette butts.
What skills do you need as a team leader?
We need to be able to train our onsite teams so that they can do their job right. We also take courses as team leaders. Lisa Dawe, our senior site supervisor, who's absolutely amazing, does a lot of our training and Louise Claydon, services manager, does our training as well.
You've been through family bereavement and a series of personal traumas in recent years, how have you coped?
I have had great support from the team. Inside work and outside. Without the support of Louise and Lisa, and the others in the office, I do not know how I would have got through it. They have been absolutely fantastic.
Tell us about your charity work?
I help out with our charity work for Stop Hunger. The guys have recently done the Yeovil half-marathon so I've been involved with raising money for that. It was fabulous, the atmosphere was absolutely great.
Our biggest year for fundraising was last year when we raised £1,500. We had a triathlon, a silent auction, and cake and coffee mornings. We do whatever we can to support Stop Hunger.
I hear there's another charity event in the pipeline...
I have a charity event which I'm going to organise with my other half John. We've been together for six and a half years and we're hoping to get married at the end of this year.
Nothing is finalised at the moment but after we get married I want to do a charity event for which I'm going to split the money raised 50-50 for Stop Hunger and Cancer Research. I am having the whole of my head shaved and my son Andrew is going to have his beard shaved off
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