Two Minutes With…Karen Wainwright, National Support Team Coordinator & Volunteer Centre Coordinator

Tell us a little bit about who you are, and your roles within Marriage Care:

I’m Karen Wainwright, I live in Eastwood in Nottinghamshire, and I have Worked for Marriage Care for 7 years. I’ve been an Appointments Administrator during that time but have recently moved into the role of Appointments Coordinator. Additionally, I have volunteered to become the new Centre Coordinator for Nottingham, previously known as ‘Head of Centre’.

What do you do in your roles?

I manage the Appointments Team, helping to find appointments for counselling clients, helping couples book their Marriage Preparation courses, and handling general client queries, making sure calls are answered quickly and all emails responded to. Basically, I support the team, in turn supporting clients and volunteers in any way we can.  As Centre Coordinator, I want to keep the Nottingham volunteer team together, informed and updated. I’ll be reaching out to the local diocese introducing myself and making them aware of what Marriage Care is and what we do. I’ll interview any new volunteers for the Nottingham Centre too. This is a bit of a learning curve for me at the moment but one I’m looking forward to.

What do you enjoy the most about working here?

I just love talking to all the volunteers and clients, I think they’re all great. I love the team I work with in the office, I call them our little Marriage Care family. I actually enjoy coming into work every day.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Work related it’s got to be the waiting list, it’s disheartening answering the phone and dealing with clients who are really upset and not being able to help them right away. It’s hard and is something me and the team are working hard to reduce.

On a personal level, I would have to say its climbing Ayers Rock, which was quite a while ago now. I set off at around 4am and it was really, really dark, bearing in mind I haven’t got brilliant eyesight. I decided a few minutes into the journey that it wasn’t for me, and I wasn’t going to be able to do it, but it was so dark I couldn’t see to get back down again! So, I had to continue until I made it to the top! However, I was so scared coming back down again that I ended up doing it on my bottom!

Tell us something quirky about Karen Wainwright

I love knitting and travelling to unusual places. Mostly, I’m known for being very very clumsy! On a Marriage Care team trip on a riverboat a few years ago, I had to be fished out of the River Trent after I accidentally fell in. Two of my colleagues jumped in to pull me out and the Captain also jumped in to help push me back on board too! I have face planted the corridor in the office, along with other various mishaps. I’ve definitely tested the Health & Safety process in the office a couple of times.

What gets you up in the morning and motivates you?

I love my job; I love to come in and get on the phones. I love our Marriage Care team and who I work with in the office. My daughter Katie works in the Appointments Team and she’s here in the background now trying to make me say that SHE motivates me to get up in the morning! I’ve been waking up at 4.30am recently so I’m awake, ready and raring to go early anyway.

What’s next for Karen?

I’m focused on making the appointments team as efficient as I can, tackle the waiting list, and losing another couple of stone before I head off on holiday. Other plans are to build up the Nottingham centre, travel to more exciting places…and maybe look forward to being a Grandma sometime in the future! *Katie squealing ‘NOOOO’ in the background as Karen chuckles*.

Written by Rachel Marsh,
Practice and Safeguarding Coordinator.