It’s National Payroll Week, so what better opportunity than to celebrate the incredible work undertaken by our Payroll and Cash Officer, Lorraine Atchison! Lorraine has been one of our key workers during the coronavirus pandemic and her support has not gone unnoticed.
Lorraine started working for St Barnabas Hospice in June 2017 after taking some time out from work. She had followed and supported St Barnabas for over 15 years, so when the job came up it seemed the perfect fit.
Lorraine said, “St Barnabas is a wonderful local cause which I have supported for many years. Although my friends and family have never needed hospice care, none of us ever know if we will need the support of the Hospice at one point in our lives. To work for a charity that does so much good in the local community is a privilege and I’m very happy here.”
Day-to-day, Lorraine’s role involves making sure 366 St Barnabas staff members are all paid on time. She looks after the different pensions and guidelines as well as HMRC payments, NHS payments and additional payments. This role was made even more complex when the coronavirus outbreak led to some staff members being placed on furlough.
Lorraine said, “I feel lucky that I was able to adapt well to working from home when lockdown began. As you can imagine, the workload for anyone in payroll was stressful at times and often technology wasn’t on my side. There was an increased workload which came from dealing with furlough adjustments, as well as having to do forecasting calculations for staff members wanting to know what their next pay day would look like.”
The biggest challenge Lorraine has faced in her role at St Barnabas was bringing the payroll system into the modern world when she first started the job.
Lorraine said, “There was some tidying up that needed doing and it was a huge job to make everything paperless. It took a whole year to tidy up payroll reconciliation, timesheets are now all electronic and I managed to fast track this work to get rid of paper when the coronavirus hit. It’s great to know we are doing our bit for the environment.”
Natalie Golledge, Head of Finance at St Barnabas added, “Lorraine has made a huge impact on St Barnabas, helping reduce the workload for other team members who were required to do additional checks and reconciliations in the past. She delivers presentations at staff inductions – something which she volunteered to take on for the good of the wider organisation.
“During lockdown, Lorraine volunteered to collect all the post from our closed Day Therapy Centre to ensure the Finance department could keep on top of processing. She plans her holidays around her very tight deadlines and is such an asset to have on the team. We are all very proud of the work she has done and continues to do.”
Lorraine said, “I have so many lovely memories from my time working at St Barnabas. There is always laughter in the office, and I love seeing the achievements of my team and of colleagues across the organisation. I am inspired by the diverse personalities at St Barnabas and have developed both personally and professionally because of my colleagues. Being a part of the St Barnabas experience is such a reward for the work I do, and I always try to support the Hospice outside of work where I can.
“Three generations of my family attended the fabulous Karen Millen event hosted by our Retail team and we always used to love the It’s A Knockout event. I play the Hospice Lottery and am always popping into my local charity shop too. Even my local pub supports the Hospice!”
We want to say a huge thank you to Lorraine for her incredibly hard work over the past three years. She is a wonderful lady and we are proud to have her in the St Barnabas team.