As part of our Basing Folk campaign and to celebrate International Men's Day, we spoke to influential men from around Basingstoke Town Centre. One of these was Roy Williams, Duty Manager at Festival Place.
What is your current role?
Duty Manager at Festival Place.
What is the most interesting part of your role?
The fact that every day is completely different. You never know what will happen from the time you start to the time you finish. I have set timelines to meet, but in-between those is where it can change. Whether I’m working a day or a night shift you never know what’s going to come at you, even if you plan ahead, it can all change in a second and you have to react to it.
What is your most vivid memory of working in Basingstoke?
I’ve been working here for 13 years now, so I guess you could say I have many vivid memories. Most of them are helping members of the public and making sure everything is in place to give them, and my colleagues, the safest environment. There are several different incidents I’ve been involved with over the years. I was involved with a vehicle fire and dealing with the evacuation and containment. I attempted to put the fire out as well, but by that time, it was too far gone to deal with safely. In August of this year, I was called to a three-month-old baby with breathing difficulties. Being a first responder, I gave oxygen and helped to stabilise the child before she went to the hospital. Becoming a Duty Manager was a big moment for me. I started as a Duty Assistant, got promoted to a Cover Duty Manager and then to a Duty Manager. That was a highlight to work my way up, gain various qualifications, learning and developing myself. As you build your management career, you try and push yourself to do more, and gain qualifications that I wouldn’t have thought I would achieve. Another highlight is seeing the team I work with develop and progress in their own careers, especially when I’ve offered training or guidance along the way.
What are the challenges for a man in your role?
I think there’s always a challenge in trying to do your job role better. I can continuously improve, no matter how long I’ve worked here. There’s still a challenge in pushing yourself to do better. Just because I’m a manager doesn’t mean I know everything; you always have the chance to learn off other people and evolve yourself.
What advice would you give young men starting their careers?
Just work hard, that’s what I did. You might not have excessed on an academic front, but if you work hard, think logically, be positive and enthusiastic, you will achieve your goals. You have to keep pushing yourself and not give up. If you get knocked back, get up and go again. That’s what I did over the years to get where I am. It might not come straight away, but keep at it, you’ll get there.