Meet the team: Planning and Initiatives

Ever wondered what the HWB Planning and Initiatives team gets up to during the working day? Now’s your chance to find out! As part of our new Meet the team series, we’ve asked members of the HWB Planning and Initiatives team to give us a brief snapshot of their roles and responsibilities (with a few interesting facts thrown in as well!) . . .

Mandy Blake, Planning & Initiatives Manager

Overview of Role: I lead the Planning & Initiatives Team. My priority in this new role is to create a service offer for the faculty as a result of PSOM. This is a mix of business planning activities, including student target number setting and fees setting. Undertaking projects at both University and faculty level which are faculty priorities. I am about to join the project team for South Yorkshire Healthy Futures whose aim is to help people in South Yorkshire live healthier, happier and longer lives. As a team we will shortly be promoting our service offer and look forward to sharing this with you.

Favourite Film: Love Actually.

Favourite Holiday Destination: Northumberland where we can walk on the beach with our 2 dogs.

(From Left to Right) Vicky Daley, Claire Woodward, Josh Elliott, Mandy Blake, Rachel Rea, Katie Evans.

Claire Woodward, Planning and Initiatives Officer

Overview of Role: My role is to support Health and Wellbeing with change improvement work. Working with staff across all departments this could be looking at process improvements or assisting with delivery of specific activities. I also assist with the annual fee setting process for HWB as well as dealing with fee queries.

I am secretary for the Leading Locally Engaging Globally Pillar Board, supporting activities of the board and administrating the approval process for new courses and re-approvals.

Hobby: Cake baking and decorating.


Rachel Rea, Planning and Initiatives Officer

Overview of Role: I work part-time (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday), balancing work with family life. My role as Planning and Initiatives Officer is quite fluid as it is a new role within a new team who aims to support the priorities of the faculty. So far this has included supporting planning activity (fees and target setting), exploring communication platforms, supporting teams to implement outputs from their continuous improvement work and looking at ways to improve the enrolment experience for our students.

As a team we sit under faculty services and have strong links with the Planning and Initiatives teams in the other three faculties and SAS Directorate Office.

In addition to my role as PIO, I’m an ACAS trained Workplace Mediator.

If I could be anywhere in the world right now: I would be on the beach in Zanzibar after snorkeling with my family and drinking a Pina Colada.

Hobbies: Running and netball.

If I could have any superhero power/strength:  The ability to teleport myself and others (I might teleport us all to the beach!).


Josh Elliott, Planning and Initiatives Officer

Overview of Role: I work full-time as a Planning & Initiatives Officer but am only based in HWB part-time as I also work in SBS. I feel that my role is quite an exciting one as I get to work across two faculties and support project and initiatives in both. This also allows for sharing of best practice across the different Planning & Initiatives teams to take place, as I have already been able to take ideas and ways of working from one faculty and implement it in another.  My work in HWB so far has involved supporting key process such as fees (i.e. inputting, setting, reporting and queries), student number planning and management of curriculum data etc. I have also been supporting key faculty projects such as Highly Skilled Employment (HSE) and HWB Global Mobility Project.  I am covering maternity leave on a fixed-term basis for Rachel Doole who is due to return mid-July.

Hobbies: Swimming and cycling.

Favourite TV Series: Full House.

Favourite Band: Green Day.


Anna Ryan, Senior Administrator

Overview of Role: I am currently on local secondment to the Integrated Care Curricula (ICC) project.

Katie Evans, Senior Administrator

Overview of role: As a Senior Administrator in Planning and Initiatives, I undertake a lot of administrative work to support my team and the work of other teams, which includes committee servicing, working on various systems (SITS, SITS Online), resolving queries from a shared inbox and personal inbox e.g. fee related, course or module leader updates, questions about funding, and liaising with various stakeholders in relation to any of these queries or as part of any projects.

I currently work across my team and the Faculty Project team as part of my role in supporting and leading on projects to assist further in their larger scale project of implementing a new placement system in the faculty.

I’m also the Union Rep for Unison in HWB.

Hobby/Interesting Fact: Singing and performed at SHU Fest for the past two years.


Vicky Daley, Administrator

Overview of role: As Administrator in Planning and Initiatives, I support  the faculty with general administrative tasks, including updating curriculum view data records such as module leader/course leader, annual fee setting and answering fee queries. I resolve queries from shared and personal inbox.

I assist my team and lead on smaller projects and processes in support of changes to improve within the faculty.

Favourite Books: The Millennium series by Steig Larsson/ David Lagercrantz.



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