A Day in the Life - with Caroline!

06 April, 2022 : 12:13
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Caroline is one of our amazing Membership Advisers, and is on hand to help Parentkind members be the best of the best! Taking hundreds of calls and queries every week, the Membership Advisers are experts in all things PTAs, and are here to help you with advice, support, and the latest guidance. In light of our upcoming ‘Ask MST’ events, Caroline gives us a sneak peek into an average day at Parentkind with a day-in-the-life blog post.

A Day with Caroline

9am –

After dropping my children off at school, I log on to work and have a quick Teams call with Donna and Shula, the other Membership Advisers. We all work remotely, so it’s a great way to say good morning and plan what our day looks like! At the same time, I check my email inbox, and send out some replies.

After a call comes in from a Cumbrian school looking to come into membership, I send them some joining documents, and we discuss Parentkind’s membership benefits. I take care of our Facebook accounts, so I take a look at the Hangout and the inboxes for PTA Expert and Parentkind. It’s a chance to answer queries, comments, and requests.

 

10am –

This call is a toughie: a new Chair has taken over, but there’s been no handover. We discuss the Constitution, how to elect committee members, and who the funds belong to. They’re concerned about how the PTA had operated in the past, and I explain that adopting our model policies can really help guide the association going forward. With lots discussed over a long call, I follow up by emailing some links to our advice pages, and an invitation to our upcoming ‘Ask MST’ events.

Admin time! There are a few members in my portfolio that haven’t renewed their membership. I send some reminder emails, call a Key Contact with a bouncing email address, and log a Cheque that has come in. I then get another call for our most common query – Key Contact Change. I talk through what’s included in membership, and explain how to add other committee members onto the account via our website.

Time for some elevenses, (today it’s a blueberry muffin and a can of pop) and then I continue with my Admin.

 

11am –

Call with a Treasurer whose association is 322 days overdue to submit their Charity Commission Annual Returns. We talk through next steps, how to get the accounts in order, and what it will mean for the association. They’re understandably worried about the impact of a late return, so I spend some time going over good practice to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

After a quick check on Facebook to see if anything has come in, another call – this time from a Headteacher checking if they are in membership, as the association wasn’t sure. I confirm that they are, but their Key Contact needs updating, so I invite the new Chair to take it over by email, and take the old Chair off the system.

Then it’s time to make some calls to members who’ve been with us for two weeks, part of our ‘First Year Journey’ that we use to support new associations. Lovely chats with two contacts to see how they are getting on. I talk through election and meeting processes with the first, and discuss ways to kick-start funding with the second.

 

12pm –

A quick check-in with Donna and Shula before lunch. We stagger our lunches so there’s always someone available to answer calls! Today I’m taking the first stretch. Lunch is a ham sandwich, and since my husband also works from home, it’s a chance to see him for an hour and catch up on the day. We sit in the garden since it’s so unseasonably warm, and it feels blissful!

 

1pm –

Back at my desk, I return a waiting answerphone message. It’s a payment from one of my earlier overdue emails, so I take the card payment and send out a Direct Debit mandate for them to complete, to make it easier to renew next year. Another member calls with some queries about their Insurance, which is provided by Zurich Insurance PLC as part of their membership. I send them over the policy FAQs, and transfer the call to Zurich for their specific questions.

Back to the admin! As part of an ongoing project, we are reviewing our website content, and I survey and detail feedback for several pages. The membership team write all the pages in the advice hub, so it’s important that we regularly review them to ensure information is relevant and up to date. Then there’s a call from a member seeking GDPR guidance. I explain the basics, and follow up over email, with links to our relevant pages and the ICOs privacy notice checklist.

 

2pm –

All three of us are back from lunch now, so there’s another quick Teams call to keep each other up to speed. I call back my member from earlier, but there’s no answer, so I leave a voicemail and continue reviewing website content.

 

3pm –

Time for a planning meeting about our next webinar. We’ll be hosting ‘Ask MST’ on the 26th April at 11am, the first of many opportunities for you to ask us any questions you have about your PTA, the running of the association, organising events, and more! To prepare, we set up the meeting on Zoom, go over how it’ll be promoted, as well as the scope of the questions.

 

4pm –

I quickly check my emails and Parentkind Facebook, then take a few more member calls. One of them is a quick check to see how they pay and where to find their receipt. I direct them to their ‘My Account’ area of the website, and confirm they pay by Direct Debit.

Before I know it, it’s time for the 5-to-5, our company-wide Teams meeting to round off the day. It’s lovely to check in with everyone over Teams while we work remotely. It’s been a busy few hours, lots of enquiries and a couple of long calls, but it’s definitely been a good day!

 


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A Parentkind membership adviser and PTFA Chair 

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