Stephen Addy is Education and Business Manager at Risk Avoidance Danger Awareness Resource based in Sydenham Business Park.
Radar is Northern Ireland’s first fully interactive ‘safety’ educational centre.
Tackling issues from road and fire safety to healthy eating, the centre allows children and young people to learn about risks and dangers which they are likely to encounter in their lives within a safe environment.
What made you decide to pursue your current career?
It has evolved naturally… I’m 35 now and I’m still pondering over what I want to be ‘when I grow up’! Joking aside, working at Radar is truly a pleasure. Watching the young people being so enthusiastic about learning is great.
Especially given the vital importance of the safety and life-skill messages young people learn at Radar.
How long have you been in your current position?
I have been the Education and Business Manager for over two years.
What specific skills do you need?
I’ll avoid the typical job application response: “I have excellent communication skills!”I guess one thing this role has highlighted is my ability to get people to ‘buy in’ to the centre’s valuable, life-saving work. However I can’t take full credit for this.
Each and every member of the team is passionate about Radar and their enthusiasm is infectious. That also proves that being a good team player is an important skill for this job.
What are your average working hours and what sort of work is involved?
8am – 4pm-ish, unless I’m doing the school run. The work is extremely varied and that’s what I love about it. There is no such thing as a typical day for me. With cuts to public sector spending, the team at Radar go above and beyond their ‘job descriptions’.
One minute I could be sticking a plaster on a child’s grazed knee then the next, making a sponsorship pitch to the CEO of a global company.
What is most important to you in a job?
My team. A happy and motivated team has been essential to the success of Radar since it opened its doors at the start of 2016. 750 people applied for the posts available at Radar and I feel extremely lucky to work with the final 8 who made the cut.
They continually go the extra mile with a smile on their face. I can safely say if it wasn’t for the current team, Radar would not be what it is today.
Northern Ireland now has its very own bespoke ‘safety centre’, and around 30,000 young people a year are benefiting from the tremendous, interactive education it provides.
How do you think the industry has changed since you first started working in it?
Having worked in various roles for 16 years within the public sector, I noticed considerable change. Obviously, politics play a big part in shaping it – from a New Labour government in 2000 who were happy to spend money on public services (perhaps a little too generous!) to times of austerity under the current Conservative government (perhaps a little tight!).
Politics aside, there is no doubt that money is more difficult to access within the public sector nowadays. However, I have noticed improved relationships across the private, public and community/voluntary sectors. These relationships are essential for sustainability.
Radar has 50 partners from across the sectors – including Fujitsu, Charles Hurst and Nationwide – and the centre is living proof that meaningful partnerships can result in wins all round.
Who has inspired you most in your career?
My mum! Sent to work sewing curtains from 14, she self-educated herself and became a nurse. Through adversity, she is still working as she approaches her 70th birthday. Kind-hearted, great work ethic, straight talking and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. You don’t mess with Anne!