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Recognising Potential – Introducing Our Youngest Depot Manager

Tiana Hanmer - Cefndy-Medequip Depot Manager

Tianna Hanmer, Contracts Manager for Cefndy-Medequip, is Medequip’s youngest ever depot manager. Here, she talks about her career path with Medequip to date, the challenges and highlights, and her aspirations for the future.

Tianna, did you envisage your career path before coming to Medequip?

Absolutely not! When I was at school, I always wanted to be a doctor. When I left school, I went into care work in a number of different roles, then worked in hospitality, eventually managing a pub. But I always had aspirations to have a job where I could make a difference.

I applied to Medequip for a customer services role at our Emersons Green depot, which I didn’t get, but I must have interviewed fairly well because I was offered a role as Team Leader for the cleaning team. My care home experience really came in useful here, because I understood the different types of equipment and their uses.

How did you move on from this role?

After 18 months, a position came up as cleaning and warehouse supervisor. I applied for this but didn’t get it, and realised I needed to broaden my experience. Having already assisted on warehousing for contract implementations, I went to our Calne depot on a secondment as warehouse team leader, which was a great learning experience.

When the Calne depot supervisor role was split into Logistics and Operations, I applied for and got the Operations Supervisor position. I’m really proud to be able to say that in this role we saw depot productivity increase, implemented new systems, improved training opportunities for everyone and also implemented co-production initiatives.

What prompted your move to Newport?

In January of this year, I was asked by Michaela Harris to support the depot on a temporary basis due to illness. After three weeks, I was offered the role on a permanent basis. At this stage, I’d only been in an ops supervisor role for a year. My goal was always to be an operations manager, but I hadn’t expected to achieve this so early, and I wanted to be 100% ready! I was encouraged by Michaela, made the decision to go for it, and have been supported all the way by the Newport team, learning as I go. So far, I’ve successfully identified opportunities for improvement, implemented new policies and procedures and improved communications.

Is the Cefndy Medequip set up different to other Medequip depots?

It is. Part of the contract requirement was for the depot to be a registered sheltered workshop, so we partner with Cefndy to achieve this. It does mean that we essentially have two teams, with staff paid by two different organisations, so communications issues can arise. Managing people I don’t actually employ requires diplomacy! We’ve worked hard to overcome this by bringing the two teams together and everything now runs very smoothly. This is a great depot with very committed people, and my background in social and mental health care has given me the insight I need to approach management issues. I consider myself very lucky to have this role.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievements to date?

I left school not expecting to be able to achieve. With Medequip, I was able to come into a job, work hard and get recognition for the effort I put in. In just three years I have achieved three significant promotions and am now in a position where I feel I’m able to make a difference.

You’re also committed to co-production and community engagement initiatives at Newport?

We are! I’m currently in the middle of putting together a co-production focus group including both Medequip and Cefndy staff. We release people to volunteer at our local RSPCA charity shop, and allocate a driver bi-weekly to deliver and collect on their behalf. We’ve also been involved in support for earthquake victims in Turkey. We work with a charity here in Newport supporting victims of the war in Ukraine, and have collected stock from shops and churches, bringing it back to the depot, palletising it and loading it onto lorries bound for Ukraine. There’s been a drop off in support for Ukraine, but it’s still desperately needed. I’m working on involving Medequip depots at a more national level in the Ukraine efforts, acting as collection points to bring donations to Newport then from here to Ukraine – it’s a work in progress!

Aspirations for the future?

I’d like to complete a project management qualification and continue being a manager on a bigger scale with the ability to impact positively on people’s lives. I really enjoy working for Medequip, and would like to take this opportunity to thank my manager Michaela Harris for all her support. She believed in me, recognised how hard I was working, saw the potential and helped me to be where I am today.

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