This blog is the third instalment of our Meet the Team series. This month, we caught up with Linda Elliott, our Senior Research Manager. Below, Linda looks at her time so far with Athene and what she loves most about her job.
What is your career history?
I worked in central government for 20 years where I held a variety of roles, including working on policy in areas such as youth unemployment, age discrimination, sex discrimination and education funding. During this time, I also worked in the Department for Education’s Corporate Transformation team and led communications around corporate change.
In 2010, I decided to stop commuting to London and to see what it was like working for the private sector. I started working with Athene on a project to review communications at Peterborough City Hospital and that was the start of a whole new career for me!
What drew you to working in communications?
When I was working in central government, working on policy always involved communicating and presenting ideas which I really enjoyed. So, I started to think that a role that specialises in communications was for me.
Having worked in central government for so long, I was really interested in finding out more about how local government works. Working alongside local government is now a common feature of my work in community and stakeholder engagement.
What is your role at Athene and what does that involve?
I work as a Senior Research Manager in our Community Engagement team. My role is to develop communication strategies and deliver pre-application consultations for our clients.
The day to day tasks can include producing stakeholder audits; arranging various meetings and events for both members of the public and stakeholders; drafting Statement of Community Involvement documents to accompany planning applications; and ensuring the planning process is followed carefully throughout every stage.
What have been some of your biggest achievements at Athene?
The two big achievements for me have been getting to know the complexities of the planning system and becoming an integral part of the project teams that deliver a wide range of proposed developments. It is fascinating stuff and I really appreciate the chance to be part of teams that work so hard to develop high-quality proposals and ultimately go on to secure planning permission.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
My biggest challenge was delivering the corporate transformation communications strategy at the Department for Education. This was a major programme designed to outsource shared corporate services. It was challenging but a great experience and we were thrilled to win ‘Programme of the Year’ in the Civil Service Awards 2010.
What is your favourite thing about working for Athene?
Our friendly team as well as getting the chance to be involved in so many interesting projects. At the moment I’m working on the North Westgate redevelopment in Peterborough, having worked on the initial planning application back in 2015. It’s great to be involved in a project which is going to help transform a key area of the city and provide new homes and employment opportunities for residents.
What three words would you use to describe Athene?
Friendly, committed, flexible.
What is an interesting fact about yourself, Linda?
We have a parrot called “Pip” who is the fifth member of our family. She has loved me working at home more during the lockdown and especially likes joining in Zoom calls and our weekly family quiz!
If you enjoyed finding out more about Linda Elliott and you’d like to get to know the rest of the Athene team, keep an eye out on our news page for upcoming interviews!