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Making a difference… Liz Bell

Our ‘I make a difference’ blog series is about shining a light on different colleagues from across our group of specialist businesses and shared services, showcasing their impactful contributions and key roles within our business.

Today, we’re pleased to feature Liz Bell, a dedicated member of the Churchill Group team for over 15 years. For the past 8 years, Liz’s role has been as a Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Administrator within the HR department. Liz values the importance of her role, which, though fulfilling, can also be quite challenging at times. She plays a key role in assisting our senior colleagues as they navigate the complexities of accessing their pensions, often serving as a bridge in the communication process. Liz’s dedication and compassion shine through as she provides invaluable support to our older generation of colleagues during this significant stage of their professional lives.

When asked what motivates Liz to do her role, she said: “By treating people with kindness, you would hope that one day, others would extend the same support to you should the need arise.” Liz shared how she often takes a moment to reflect after a day’s work, considering the impact she has made. She shared a sense of gratitude in knowing she contributed something meaningful and positive with her time.

Making a difference through volunteering

Liz has a passion for being outside and gardening. When exploring how to utilise her two dedicated volunteering days, Liz’s father suggested she join him in lending a hand at the St. Albans Signal Box, which was seeking volunteers to enhance its exterior spaces. Liz’s mother also had a connection to the Signal Box, who alongside a team of retired volunteers provides refreshments to visitors of the signal box. This shared involvement not only allowed Liz to give back to her community but also created a unique opportunity for her to support her family’s endeavours.

In 2002, the residents of St. Albans took notice of the deteriorating state of a signal box at the end of their street, which had been unused for a quarter of a century. Determined to revitalise it, they established a Building Preservation Trust to salvage the Grade 2 listed structure. With secured grants, the trust leased and restored the box, uncovering its rare 1906 Midland Railway ‘tumbler’ interlocking lever frame. Today, fully rejuvenated, and operational, the box stands as a community focal point and heritage site, earning accolades from various institutions.

The Signal Box benefits from a diverse community of volunteers, ranging from train enthusiasts to local residents. Many of these volunteers are from older generations, who often find the physical demands of maintaining the outdoor space challenging. Liz stepped in to provide valuable assistance by tackling tasks such as pruning shrubs, weeding, clearing leaves, and tidying pathways. These tasks can be particularly difficult for older volunteers, and Liz’s willingness to pitch in alleviated some of the burden, ensuring that the outdoor area remains well-maintained and accessible for all.

When asked why it was important to her to use her volunteering days, Liz shared her thoughts on the link between employee ownership and our collective success. “Now that we are employee-owned, it’s crucial for us to proactively contribute to our own success to build on the strength and resilience of our business.” Liz talked about how volunteering makes her feel fulfilled and reflects her values. She feels happy knowing she’s helped her community. This shows how much she believes in giving back and making a difference.

When giving advice on how to spend volunteer days, Liz said it’s best to pick activities that make you happy or match your interests. Doing what you love not only makes volunteering more enjoyable but also makes you feel more satisfied and committed to the cause.

Through her role as an LGPS Administrator, Liz not only navigates the intricacies of pension access but also provides vital support and reassurance to her older colleagues during this transitional period. Her commitment to making a difference extends beyond the workplace, as seen in her selfless volunteering efforts at the St. Albans Signal Box. As we continue to celebrate the contributions of our colleagues, let Liz’s story inspire us to consider dedicating some of our time to supporting our communities.

If you missed our previous blogs, make sure you have a read of Maria, ElizbethKelly and Eric’s stories.