by Fiona Nelmes
July 31, 2018
For the past couple of months, some of you may have seen another beaming smile as we’ve completed our site visits. Well, we thought it was time to officially announce KVF’s latest addition to our ex-forces work experience programme - meet Irene Macharia!
Irene is due to leave the army imminently on medical retirement grounds, and after seeing a post we’d placed on LinkedIn about our support of military personnel exiting the forces, she got in touch to see if we could help her integrate into the civilian workplace, and particularly into Health & Safety. As some of you may remember, our Director, Lee Kennedy, and one of our Safety Advisors, Jamie McPhie, both came to KVF after years of dedicated service, and so it’s always been part of our business ethos to help other personnel transition to civilian employment.
Having served in the Royal Logistics Corps as a chef for 5 years, Irene moved to a Health & Safety Co-ordinator role in 2016 within HM Forces, where she cemented her passion for safety through planning, execution & monitoring of policies & procedures, including armoured vehicles.
When we met Irene and heard her story of wanting to gain experience in H&S before she hits civilian life full steam ahead, we knew we could show her how KVF operate and how we assist clients to safety every day, through a series of shadowing work. After all, how many times do you read job specifications and see ‘minimum of 2 years experience in the field is a prerequisite’ of an application?
So, we thought we would tell you a little bit more about her. Feel free to discuss any of the points below with her next time you see her or send us a message and we will be glad to pass your comments on!
Why did you choose KVF Consultants for your work experience placement?Many reasons! Being ex-forces, I felt the Director (Lee) could relate very well with my transition. The Company is based local to me too, but mostly - as a consultancy business - I knew that no two days would be the same – and they certainly aren’t!
What’s the best thing about shadowing advisors at KVF Consultants?I have gained confidence in my abilities by observing the unique personality of each of the advisors and, while they all perform the same role, it’s refreshing to see that they aren’t simply Health & Safety Robots! I have enjoyed working with them so much and I believe that I am learning from the best we have out there.
Something you love about the business?The way they work well as a team. It is like a second family. The working environment is a good one and they share their expertise to offer the best service to clients.
Would you recommend the ex-forces work experience programme to other personnel leaving the forces to help them transition and find work?I would recommend KVF Consultants to anyone transitioning from the military who needs a civilian attachment. The support they offer you is immense. I have most of all enjoyed the continuous challenges we face in some business visits which keeps me constantly interested and engaged by the work KVF carry out.
What are you afraid of?Spiders! I get chills when I see one.
Favourite drink (when not in the office)?a Gin! I am a lover of Sloe gin and rhubarb gin or any other gin for that matter. I do have cup of tea on a normal weekday, though
If you had to be an animal what animal would you be?If I was an animal I would have been a skinny elephant. If they have such…. To me an elephant is a symbol of leadership, power and relationship. And if I was an insect I would be a butterfly which symbolises a playful character, master of transformation and a strong personality.
What did you want to be when you grew up?I wanted to be a doctor because of the satisfaction of serving people in need. It was never the case but the concept of being able to serve has always been my passion hence why I joined the army and the reason why health and safety is very important to me. My dreams are still valid, I’m just helping people in a different way to a doctor.
Thanks Irene, we’ve loved getting to know you and are glad that our programme is helping you work towards your goals of a career in Health & Safety. You’ve demonstrated a clear and broad understanding of Health & Safety legislation and we are sure you have a long and promising career ahead of you.
All the best from the KVF Team.
If you know someone who may benefit from our ex-services work experience programme, please do pass on our details and ask them to get in touch – we’d be delighted to hear from them
Did you miss Part I of our blog on Service Leavers? No problem! Access a copy right here