Customer spotlight – this month we are delighted to speak to Jayne about working at top Lake District Hotel, Miller Howe, and her nomination for Cumbria Woman of the Year.
“My career in hospitality started when I was just 17, working as a receptionist at a place in Crook, near Windermere.
I was born and bred in Staveley, near Kendal, and after working stints in London and Hertfordshire, I returned to the Lake District. While I sometimes miss city life, I think Cumbria is the most beautiful place in the world.
I love working in hotels due to the many people I meet. You get such a variety and no two days are the same. You never know how your day is going to pan out. I was lucky enough to be here when the Queen came to visit during the Jubilee year. Even if I’d had a day off I’d have volunteered to come in.
I joined Miller Howe nearly 20 years ago. Miller Howe became a hotel in 1971, it was put on the map by one of the first celebrity chefs John Tovey and has been renowned for good food and wine ever since. I had the pleasure of working with Mr Tovey and his team for a couple of years before he retired. The hotel is in Windermere with stunning views over the lake. We’re only small, we’ve got 15 bedrooms and is a lovely country house hotel.
As a family run hotel, it has got a lovely feel to it. I’m just part of a really nice team. We all support each other and laugh together.
Just recently I was nominated for Cumbria Woman of the Year for my charity work as a counsellor. It’s an amazing feeling because you don’t know who’s nominated you. It’s really special that someone recognises your efforts even if you don’t do it for recognition.
I started working towards becoming a counsellor in 2002 by attending evening classes in my local area. I never realised how much the experience would mean to me so those evening classes quickly turned into me attending university to complete a degree.
At the moment, I work part-time for a charity which supports individuals who have suffered from sexual abuse and rape. More specifically I work with adults but the charity also focuses on helping young children as well. It is very rewarding to know that you are able to make such a difference in someone’s life when they are going through some dark and traumatic times.
That is something I do in the evenings outside of work but all the skills I have gained through my professional and voluntary work are transferable. Working in hospitality means you need to like people and be able to deal with many different types of personalities. If there’s a problem, you can find a way through it if you just get on with people.
My one piece of life advice is to have dedication, whatever your goals and passions.”