Cafes, kiosks and career development

Published : Sun 1st Nov Author : Sarah Hepple, Catering Manager

Having joined the Trust as a Catering Supervisor at Wallington six years ago, Catering Manager Sarah Hepple shares her experiences and insight into developing a career at the National Trust.

I can honestly say that every day is different working at Wallington. There’s so much variety here, from meeting and training new seasonal staff to the different events and activities that we have. As Catering Manager I manage a team of up to 35 staff in our Clock Tower café and garden and ice cream kiosks, as well as overseeing all day-to-day catering and events for up to 205,000 visitors.

Working at Wallington gives me 100% job satisfaction. It’s such a beautiful location and incredible property to work in, and we have a really strong and supportive team here. No one department works in isolation and there’s a real focus on work/life balance here; no split shifts and 9-5 working hours, a rarity in catering jobs!

Since joining I’ve been really well looked after and supported in my career development. As an organisation the Trust truly recognises just how crucial catering is to our visitors’ overall experience, and has invested a huge amount in its facilities. There’s also a full training and development package for staff, with great support and opportunities to grow with the organisation.

Aside from my day-to-day role, I’ve also had the chance to work on an important project to develop the catering offering here at Wallington, after highlighting a need for additional outlets. The Trust really listened to my feedback and opinions, and as a result I was part of the team that managed the design and implementation of two new kiosks.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about what my perceptions of the Trust were before I started working here. It’s the complete opposite to what I had imagined it would be like, and is an incredibly diverse organisation with so much more to it than meets the eye. It’s also growing all the time which is really exciting, as it means there’s huge potential to learn and develop your career within the wider portfolio of your region.