Hayley enjoys the challenge in her National Trust kitchen
I’ve always loved working with food and have worked in kitchens for years. Before joining the Trust, I was frustrated with working split shifts and struggled with the lifestyle as a mum. Starting work before school and coming home after my daughter had gone to bed meant that I was missing out on her growing up. I needed to find an alternative.
A friend asked me to help out at Speke Hall, my local National Trust property, to cover for someone temporarily. Having never visited before, on arrival I was amazed - I couldn’t believe you could work in such a beautiful place! After working in busy restaurants in Liverpool city centre for years, I didn’t think that working in the kitchen of a National Trust property would challenge me. But I was seriously wrong.
My first day was a real eye opener – it was just so busy! The work was non-stop and I couldn’t believe the amount of people that came through the door. It was then that my perception of catering at the Trust changed - it’s a place for everyone; families and friends, young and old.
I enjoy coming to work every day because I actually love my job – I don’t think many people can say that! Each day is different. I deal with suppliers and deliveries and bake everything from cakes to biscuits – and of course delicious scones! I love watching our customers tucking into them and they must be good as last year I made and sold nearly 11,000!
After three years I am now the Baker and Head Kitchen Supervisor for Speke Hall. I am supported and cared for at the Trust as my training and development still continues. We work closely as a team and the house are great. I start at 9 and finish at 5.30 – it’s difficult to find that kind of shift within a professional catering environment. I have never felt so proud of the work I do, the things I have achieved and who I have become.