Adrienne Williams

(Our Membership and 250 Club Secretary – at KEGS 1978-1983) writing in 2021

I didn’t get the A level results I wanted to get to college for teacher training so ended up doing Business Studies in Croydon! It was a sandwich course which I didn’t like much but decided that I wanted to go into Personnel Management as welfare of staff was important to me. I left that course early and got a job for a couple of years at the DHSS in St Andrews Street. Promotion was on my mind at the time but I seemed to only be offered roles in London, so I left to become a junior manager at the former mushroom farm in Stanton.

I was made redundant from there after 5 years and then began work with ‘Age Concern Suffolk’ running a home help scheme. I loved it but due to funding cuts my role was again made redundant and so moved on to work with a Disability Rights Charity. I only lasted a year there before finding a role I adored as County Manager of Suffolk with the Royal British Legion. I was really good at this, working on the welfare side mainly with bits of fundraising and PR thrown in. Then 8 years after that another reorganisation resulted in redundancy.

I tried working in the private sector for a while but missed the voluntary sector too much and took a maternity leave over post with the Churches Conservation Trust. I don’t have a faith but it was wonderful to work with all the volunteers and learn so much about these fantastic buildings.

When that role ended I began working with Save the Children. Again mainly managing volunteers (it’s a career stream nowadays – who knew?) I very much enjoyed the role when I had 6 counties to cover around me and lots and lots of groups which I worked with. We have branched out a little more now to include community groups and regional corporates as well as schools to seek funds from. Not the part of the job I enjoy too much, but they are a wonderful organisation to work for and of course the cause they fight for is important to all of us all over the world. I am proud of my association with them, now in their 5th year.

I have lived in Thurston for 29 years in the same house. Seen a husband come and go but reserve my affections for my family and friends, two cats and Leicester Tigers. I keep in touch with a number of people from school days, apart from Old Burians, and am trying to get them to submit something for the next magazine. I think we need to balance things out and include a few female entries and younger entries. No offence but I don’t think the Old Burians were given enough attention during my time at KEGS, I think Mr Moran was not a fan!

My education then was quite broad and I think the level I worked at was good (mainly set one) but I was disappointed when my sister came to the school 4 years later. She was not as academic as me and I felt that she didn’t get the best teachers who would have supported her more. It showed me that schools are ‘a one size fits all box’, but it really doesn’t fit a lot of people.

I love that I came from a school with a heritage and there are people who want to keep it going. It was great to finally get round to being a member of the OBA and have a role on the committee which is fabulous and this suits me, but we need to increase our membership and value to new people to keep us relevant or we will sadly have to end.

I think Social media is the way to go and I think we need to look into getting people using that. I hope we can look into that in the future. I feel lots of our members are users of some form or another but its the new members we need to get hold of via that means.