Celebrating Sandra, our very first Campus employee


Sandra was our first employee here at Community Campus 87. She was employed as our Office Manager and has been an important part of our growth and development ever since. Sandra officially retires at the end of March and last week she attended her final Campus Board Meeting. 

We wanted to celebrate International Women’s Day by sharing Sandra’s inspiring story and shine a spotlight on her brilliant 34 years career here at Campus. Thank you Sandra and enjoy your retirement!

When did you start working for Community Campus 87?

I started working for Campus on the 16 November 1989

What was your first job here at Campus and what did the role involve?

My first job at Campus was as part time administrator, my main tasks were to do typing and filing – I worked 15 hours a week based in St. Mary’s Centre, Middlesbrough (in the same two offices that the Middlesbrough support staff are working from now).

You must have seen a lot of changes over the years at Campus, which changes have affected your role the most and why?

We have run several different projects over the years and each project brought with it new challenges and in some cases different ways of working. One of the biggest changes has obviously been IT – when I first started working there were no computers, email or social media so that was a massive change, when I first started working for Campus I used my first computer – it was an apple mac which was basically a word processor with limited excel functions but we had no email, etc.  I remember saving everything to floppy drives – things have come a long way since then and IT has transformed the way we all work.   I have seen a lot of change and as the organisation has grown and I have adapted to meet the changing role I had, such as managing a team,  managing finances, developing systems, procedures and policies, etc.

What advice would you give to young people just starting out in their careers?

Career paths are rarely straight forward be flexible, creative and willing to learn, stay persistent and don’t be discouraged by setbacks or obstacles.  Plan and prioritise your work well and that will help you to be in control of your tasks and be more productive.

What has it been like working for Campus right from the very start and watching it develop over the years into the organisation it is now? 

It’s been amazing , when I first started working for Campus in 1989 the organisation had one property on a peppercorn lease from a local authority and four tenants and was in the process of purchasing its first ever house.  There have been so many changes over the years but a couple of the most memorable and defining changes were getting our first large grant to purchase several properties and also a grant to buy the Heaven building which was a derelict nightclub in Stockton and is now our Head Office. I have been involved in so many things from taking tenants shopping, visiting other projects, being involved in the development of Campus and working with some brilliant people and being able to develop and grow my own knowledge and skills.