Val Redden is one of Swansea University’s longest-standing members of staff. Val started working at the University in 1968. Her husband and two daughters have also had jobs at the University.
What has been notable about your time at the University?
The changes that have taken place here over the years are what strikes me. Also, my husband starting work as a Night Halls Porter, my daughters starting work here as well, one in Residential Services and one in Catering - it seemed as though we as a family were taking over. I have worked with so many people some of whom had the most wonderful characters you could ever wish for and I truly miss them all.
What has been your career path?
I started work in December 1968 just after Christmas when the University only shut for Christmas Day and Boxing day. I worked up in Singleton Abbey and I used to distribute all the stationery to departments across the University weekly as well as typing out the annual accounts, printing them off and collating them on a massive table outside the Vice Chancellors office. I then moved to the Estates department, then I moved to work with the Clerk of Works on Campus and then back to Estates and have remained there ever since.
What do you most look forward to when you come to work?
Since the death of my husband in 2017 my work has become more important to me and I look forward to every day when I come into work as every day is different and keeps me on my toes. I meet many people who knew my husband and myself occasionally and it is nice to reminisce about the old times.
What have been your professional highlights?
My most memorable professional highlight was being handed my supervisory certificate by the then Vice-Chancellor Robin Williams. Passing my NVQ and achieving my EDL all with the help of the University.
What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in your 51 years at the university?
It used to be small with only three halls of residence. I have seen the University growing – so many new buildings being built including the Taliesin Arts Centre and Egypt Centre. It’s been wonderful seeing everything developing and changing for the better.
What is the most important thing you have learnt about your working life?
I’ve learnt that you have to try and get on with everyone you work with – and I have worked with a great many people – and I have found that when you need them they are always there for support. The University and Estates, where I work, is like a close-knit family.
What advice would you give to new members of staff?
Enjoy every minute working in the University and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. If you are offered opportunities to advance grab them with both hands as the University encourages staff to progress.