Donna Peters is ExtraCare’s Activity & Events Manager. She’s worked for ExtraCare for 13 years. Here, she tells us more about her job…
My primary role is to organise ExtraCare’s traditions and events, from concept to completion.
Every day is different and I could be working on 10 projects at any one time. Today I’ve been planning the Festival of Choirs, potential bowls event, Symphony Hall and also some finance admin. The job definitely keeps me on my toes!
Even this early on, I’m working on the Symphony Hall concert, planning what acts we believe the residents would enjoy. It’s difficult to get celebrities to commit so far ahead, but we have to make enquiries so we can promote the show.
When organising any event, we always refer to the feedback forms the residents fill in. This helps us to see where we can improve and also what works well at the events. I contact venues, make enquiries for costings, availability of the venue, source entertainment, and promote the event to the activity team, who then promote it in-house. I run the event on the day, with the support from the activities staff. They become the events team on the day, organising transport, greeting entertainers and residents, information points, etc.
Trying to find the perfect venue is difficult. I’m looking for accessibility, value for money, and reasonable travel time. It’s one of the most challenging parts of my job. Another challenge is getting booking forms in on time. We do need this information weeks beforehand, so we can finalise catering arrangements, transport, venue details, number of residents attending, etc. So please do buy your tickets early!
Part of my role is overseeing activities in locations and looking at new ideas. I don’t manage the activity staff but I’m there to support them. I recognise the hard work they put in. They’re a great team and always strive to ensure the residents have a quality programme of activities, entertainment and events.
My favourite part of the job is visiting the locations and meeting up with the residents. It’s great to catch up and have a chat.
I’ve been working in the entertainment industry since the age of 18. I have to thank my mum for supporting me as a child and encouraging me to take up dancing, drama and singing. I started dancing at the age of four and my first job was working as a blue coat. I continued performing professionally and went on to work on the cruise ships. After 12 years of being away from home I came back to the Midlands, and applied for this job. I was so pleased to be doing something I love and not having to be away from home.
One of my favourite times was the ExtraCare Olympics, which came together after two years of planning. It was one of the most memorable things that I’ve been part of with ExtraCare, and it really brought everyone together.
Symphony Hall is always great as well. But I do enjoy the regional events too, where I can get around and talk to everyone.
See you at the next event!