Ten questions with Kate Douthwaite | Communications and Marketing Lead
Posted on 3rd August 2020 at 11:01
Hello! I’m Kate. I’m a soon-to-be second year Marketing & Media student at Keele University, and Communications and Marketing Lead here at Mondrem.
It’s my job to broadcast the good news and amazing stories that Mondrem generate. I seem to have inadvertently acquired the title of ‘Mondremiser in chief’ (thanks, George), as my work involves transforming the stories, motivations and wisdom of our team and clients into snippets of positivity on social media, our blog, and our website. Although when I picture a ‘Mondremiser’ I imagine a sort of transformer (Mondremiser 3000 - is that just me?), I can assure you that the process is much more careful and delicate.
In short, I make sure that Mondrem’s stories are told effectively, and reach the people who need to hear them.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I love writing. Throughout my life, I’ve written everything from personal blogs to short stories, and enjoy scheduling social media posts and writing blogs on behalf of Keele University, alongside my role at Mondrem.
I find fulfilment in the knowledge that I’m using my talent and passion; writing, to do some good and to help others. It’s both rewarding and reassuring to know that the content that I create for Mondrem tells important stories that will benefit the public services in our community. I am a real believer in positivity, and being able to tell great stories is the most rewarding thing about my work.
How do you like to start and end your day?
In a word – tea. I stand by the notion that there’s no match for the comfort I feel while sipping from a cup of steamy, sweet tea in my garden in the morning sunshine. Equally, tucking into bed with a mug of Chai after a long winter walk. As my family and friends know, no matter how happy, sad, or downright cranky the day might have me, bringing me a surprise cuppa is a sure-fire way to restore harmony.
Who inspires you?
While my answer might change to this question on a weekly if not daily basis (from poets to entrepreneurs) there are a couple of people who will always come second to none: My grandparents. They were amazing people, and they taught me everything I know and love. My grandfather was a business owner, a ballroom dancer, a photographer- the list goes on. My gran was an amazing cook, painter and charity-shopaholic. I like to think they are the reason that I am a bargain-hunting (Michael Kors belt for £2.50? Thank you Oxfam!), dog painting (I’ll take commissions), cake-baking (my expertise ends at Lemon Meringue), all-round ambitious human. They’re also the reason I’m typing this in a room that I can’t move in for stacks of second-hand clothes and oil paintings – not a great mix. And the reason I don’t fit in to the dress I bought from the Harvey Nic’s sale (it might take two people to zip me in it, but for £57 instead of £400 I’ll make it fit).
I used to love hearing the stories of how my grandad would fix Spitfires in his spare time in the RAF. Perhaps that explains why I thought I could change the Fan Belt on my little Fiat 500. Safe to say- some things are best left to the experts.
Why are Public Services important to you?
Both myself and my family have a history of working in public bodies. My Mum describes her years working in the control rooms of our local fire headquarters and police station as some of the best and most rewarding work she’s ever done. In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed her work for housing associations, special-needs schools and raising contracts for medical research at Keele University. All of the work she has done for public services helped to develop and nurture the people who relied on them. That influence is so important, and it deserves to be supported through organisations like Mondrem.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
In my relatively short 19 years, I’ve only ever travelled around Europe, but have seen some wonderful things. From the Eiffel Tower to Prague Astronomical Clock to Cologne Cathedral.
But… you know where my heart lies? The vibrant city of Manchester, England. I adore it there. Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, This & That Café, Deansgate Comedy Store, Oldham Street...the list goes on (trying not to sound like TripAdvisor, my apologies). I treasure the buoyancy of the city- the people, the places, the opportunities. I associate so many happy memories with there, from first dates to annual family visits to Manchester Christmas Market, there’s no competition for where I’d rather be. Luckily, it’s only £15 and 35 minutes away!
What’s one piece of advice everyone needs to hear?
Self-belief, optimism and hope have got me through some of the hardest times of my life. I plaster the mantra ‘she believed she could, so she did’ over most of my possessions – notepads, posters, pin-badges. And I genuinely live by it.
What’s the best music concert you’ve ever attended?
Well, I have a lot to choose from here – as I spent many of my latter high school and college years at a different gig every weekend, in our local music venue ‘The Sugarmill’ (yes, it was as insalubrious as it sounds). In hindsight, 80% of the bands we saw were.. pretty atrocious, local indies, but some of my favourite memories were made there.
In answer to your question, while I’d love to tell you I had an extraordinary experience watching Andrea Bocelli at the Teatro del Silenzio, in fact my favourite concerts were those spent in an albeit dingy local venue, dressed in my Docs and covered in glitter, dancing to the likes of ‘Bonsai’, ‘The Albion’ and ‘Moral Panics’ to name a few – no shame!
What are you passionate about?
Now, that’s a tough question! There are a few things that you’ll never sway my opinion on - animal rights to female empowerment. Over the last year alone, getting behind campaigns including #BanBossy and #ThisGirlCan has helped me to feel like I can support ambitious and aspirational young women. Among other things, I’ve also joined The Cinnamon Trust – a Cornwall based charity who set up dog owners who struggle to get out of the house with dog lovers who can commit to taking them for a walk.
My passions are about helping others, and inspiring people to be the best they can be, and who they want to be. While these are largely founded in my personal life, this also underpins and benefits my approach to work at Mondrem too.
How would you describe your Mondrem experience in one word? Why?
For me, working with Mondrem has been compelling.
Before applying for the role, I had no idea that an organisation like Mondrem existed. It’s been eye-opening to learn about the ethics of the company, and the importance of the work Mondrem do. The personal connections of each of the team to public services are wonderful to learn of, and really demonstrate why we want to support those services. I have learned and am continuing to understand more and more the importance of public services, and am extremely proud to be part of an organisation who genuinely care about the work they do. Thanks to Mondrem, I feel compelled bring kindness to work, and want to continue making a difference wherever I can.
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