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Natasha Bedford - Warwick Sport

Best Newcomer

Tell us a bit about your role and your award-winning work…

Between August and the start of October 2017, I put everything in place to open a brand new therapy clinic.

This included:

  • refurbishing existing treatment rooms;
  • putting in place all policies and procedures; sourcing all equipment needed for the clinic and a medical booking system;
  • benchmarking other therapy providers in the area;
  • defining a product and pricing strategy;
  • planning a marketing strategy;
  • understanding what other university therapy provisions looked like.

I wanted to establish an excellent provision on campus, providing our students and staff with an exceptional experience that had never been made available before. I've also collaborated with other departments to develop and evolve the service so that we can deliver more in the coming years.

How does it feel to have won the Best Newcomer award?

It is an honour to receive such an award. I come from an elite and professional sport background working with some of the UK’s top athletes - our rewards are achieving medals or winning championships, and there is rarely an opportunity to recognise an individual's contribution towards the common goal.

To be a local Coventry girl and return to my home city to work at such an amazing time for the city - and to be recognised - has been overwhelming. However, it is business as usual for us - we have a lot to achieve in the coming year as we grow the service, move into the new Sports Hub, and become established as 'the place to go' for treatment and management of injuries in the area.

Why do you think people should get involved with nominating for the University Awards?

Being recognised for all the hard work that goes into making things successful in a department goes a long way. When it's business as usual, it’s nice to lift your head up for a second and think "This is great - not only am I making a difference to the department, but the wider university actually recognises that every person's efforts count." It’s nice to be able to do that for someone else, so I will be strongly encouraging people to participate in the Awards in the future.

The University Awards are a great way for the University to improve and learn from staff initiatives over the year. If you could change one thing at the University, what would it be?

I'd like it if the focus could not be so much on the 'bottom line' - or even sometimes the results in some departments - but instead on making sure that everybody who works their socks off day in, day out, feels valued and motivated. The value of the person is much more than numbers or statistics.

What would you like to say to the person - or people - who nominated you?

To Gemma Carter Morris, the person who nominated me: thank you for recruiting me, thank you for believing in me, thank you for supporting me and everything I am trying to achieve here. Thank you for recognising our hard work, despite the numerous challenges we have faced and continue to face, and thank you for inspiring me to come into work every day and make a difference.

What we are creating here at Warwick is designed to 'outlive' us - it has to be here way longer than we might be. The way we see it, this is about leaving a legacy, and Gemma is an integral part of our legacy.

Enjoyed hearing about Natasha's experience? Take a look at more profiles from award winners


Image of Natasha

Image of Natasha at work

It’s nice to lift your head up for a second and think 'This is great - not only am I making a difference to the department, but the wider university actually recognises that every person's efforts count.'"