By Melanie Jenkins
Well shwmae a chroeso! Hello and welcome from the heart of Wales’s rolling hills and valleys! Hyderus Cyf. is located on the High St. in a small Welsh village – Cwmfelinfach – Valley of the Little Mill. The High St. is a hub of activity with its busy Post Office and market. We are also on the main road linking the valley with Newport, a large, rambling city and Cardiff, the capital of Wales.
The Hyderus office opens at 9 am every morning and closes at 5.30 pm each evening – Monday to Friday. It is based in a residential area and, indeed, has a truly friendly feel about it since it is not a purpose-built office block.
Given the warm and comfortable atmosphere of the office, it is sometimes hard to believe what gets done here. Handling large multi-country projects, coordinating high-level meetings with policymakers, setting up visits to conferences – every day brings new challenges and exciting opportunities. On a regular day, you will find us working with colleagues and partners across 3-4 continents, collaborating on projects ranging from health and pharma to politics and climate change. For me, it has been an eye-opening experience to see the nuts-and-bolts of big projects that I otherwise only heard about on television or read about in newspapers. For instance, we are currently working on better access to medicines in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Of course, the process works as well as it does because we have an extremely efficient team.
To give three examples: Ann-Mair Davies, who is our Office Manager, is the longest-serving member of the Hyderus staff. In addition to office management, Ann-Mair processes invoices and payments and works on accounts for Hyderus. Sam Combe is our Assistant Project Manager: she is a whiz at coordinating with our colleagues across the world. Pat Ashton, our Office Administrator, has moved all the way from the heart of Suffolk in England to settle in the Welsh valleys and learn the language – a feat in itself! She and her husband also run the Post Office across the road. There are, of course, lots of other invaluable contributors! As for myself, I started here at the beginning of this year and was originally employed to help Mark in an administrative capacity. My work includes a variety of interesting tasks: translation, writing, arranging meetings and working on Web-based projects.
Mark and Chris, our company directors tend to be away on business more often than not. When in town, you’ll find them busy with one project or another. We also have our very own furry canine mascot in the shape of Stanley, who visits at least once a day and takes pride of place on his bed next to Pat’s desk.
One last interesting point – Hyderus is a bi-lingual company. We offer our services through the medium of Welsh as well as English. In fact, if you visit the office, chances are you’ll find most of us working in Welsh! I’m going to tell you some more about the reasons behind this unusual decision and the Welsh workings of the office in another post. For now, let me conclude by saying that it is this company’s rare home-away-from-home character that makes it such a positive, work-friendly environment.