VernaPeople – Meet Joanne Tong

In this installment of VernaPeople, we want you to get to know Joanne. If you haven’t already met her in person, here’s your chance to meet her now…

Why don't we start with a bit about you and your role here at Vernacare?

My role at Vernacare is a Contracts Analyst. I manage and coordinate tender and quotation activity for the company for both UK and International markets, proactively seeking all tender opportunities through appropriate tracking systems. I manage all the preparation and completion of Invitation to Tender, Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and Request for Information documents, ensuring all the information is submitted in full and on time. I manage a centralised log for all contracts, including competitors and notify relevant teams of all contract renewals and/or new opportunities.

I also have several other responsibilities which include: Health and Safety, Internal Audits, GDPR, First Aid as well as Labour Standards for the NHS Supply Chain.

 

How long have you been with Vernacare and what has changed in that time?

I started on 1st September 2015, under Synergy Healthcare Solutions. I worked under the Customer Services team and then moved into the Sales and Marketing team in 2017. I then moved back to Customer Services in 2018, as a Contracts Analyst, when Synergy Health merged with Vernacare.

 

What would you say a typical day in the office is like for you?

As my role has several strands it can be very varied, from writing up a tender and working to tight deadlines, to working with the NHS Supply Chain on the Labour Standards Assurance Scheme and making sure we are compliant to each Framework Agreement we have with them. 

However, at any moment I could get called to any First Aid incident within the building, be asked to conduct a Health and Safety Risk Assessment, or even replenish the First Aid boxes. Amongst all of those tasks, I enjoy getting involved with raising money for charity and just recently I have been involved in the planning of the office Christmas Party.

What would you say is the most important thing you need to focus on to ensure success?

For me, it has to be ‘being organised'. I am meticulous in my work and being organised is something which I think is important so that I can coordinate several tasks at once. I can have multiple tenders or work projects on at the same time, so being well organised and having great communication skills and leadership is important in order to get the projects completed on time.

 

What do you enjoy the most about your role?

I love the internal interaction with other departments as well as external communication and working closely with the NHS Supply Chain and Hospital Trusts. I love talking to people, establishing relationships and understanding what they do within the company.

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"It’s a very energetic company to work for, with a great desire to improve healthcare solutions across the globe."

Let’s get personal! Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I have my own company providing stewards and marshals for all kinds of events, from stewards for football games to marshals for music festivals throughout the UK & Ireland. As well as providing security personnel for the Manchester Pride weekend.

Every Saturday you’ll see me in my high-visibility jacket working at either Preston North End or Blackpool FC. I work as a ‘Response Supervisor’ where I search visiting fans before entering the stadium. Due to the high terrorist threat, the training I have received has been outstanding.  I’ve been lucky to receive Terrorism training delivered by the Met Police and Tactical Units at Lancashire Constabulary.

I get to meet some really wonderful people from all over the country with different football teams bringing their own stewards which I have become really good friends with. I’ve done this for over 18 years working outside in all sorts of weather conditions, but it doesn’t really bother me as I absolutely love it, working alongside some amazing men and women who are like my family.

No matter how busy I am though, I always find time for my Grandson, Finley, who is 6 years old. We always have lots of fun, going on walks and teaching him how to ride his bike. We spend lots of time together baking cakes and even going on holiday to hot places! 

I try and do as much as I can for charity, two that are close to my heart are The Rosemere Cancer Foundation and St Catherine’s Hospice.  The Rosemere Cancer Foundation was brilliant with my late brother who died of a very rare cancer at the age of 31, so every year I do their ‘Walk in the Dark’ from Chorley Hospital to Preston Hospital. I raise hundreds of pounds with the help of my sister-in-law and friends.  I also organize, plan and manage the stewards for the St Catherines Memories Walks with the help of my close work colleagues in the honour and memory of my mum. I do this organization for free donating all of my time and wages.