Working and living behind the scenes at Goddards
Tim Watts, Business Support Co-ordinator for the Yorkshire Sustainability team tells us why working at Goddards is so much more than just a day job.
Culturally, the Trust is completely different to anywhere I’ve worked before. There’s a real sense of achievement in what you do here and such a vast variety of work. It’s definitely not your typical 9-5 admin job. For example one day I might be attending a meeting at another property or putting together a presentation, and the next I might be handling customer enquiries or even involved in a photo shoot!
I’ve been at the Trust for about nine years now, and for five of those years I’ve actually been living in a gatehouse at Goddards, which people drive under as they’re coming in to visit! I live with my partner who also works here, and we’re able to get involved in a lot of the activities and events that happen outside of work, a great advantage of living on the site.
I think there’s still a common perception among people that the National Trust just looks after historic mansions and stately homes, they don’t realise how much land and coast we actually own and protect. The sheer size of our region here in the North is huge and our portfolio covers so many different sizes of property, from a tiny temple like Mussenden to a mansion like Beningbrough with acres of land.
One of my proudest moments since joining the Trust was when Goddards transitioned from just a regional office to being an open visitor property. The business support team shut down for two weeks during this time but we were involved in the entire transformation process, helping to redesign the office space and provide input into how the new service offering would work.
The transformation of Goddards has been a real success. Since opening the gardens, our visitor numbers have jumped from 5,000 to nearly 20,000 and our tea rooms are really thriving. To me, it’s now an ideal mix of a fascinating visitor attraction and a vibrant working hub.