Going The Extra Mile - Laura McGrath - Quorum Park

Since taking up her role as events and community manager at Quorum Park, Laura McGrath has worked tirelessly to provide a wide range of support initiatives for the park’s occupiers. With physical and mental well-being very much at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, Laura has adapted to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic with the delivery of new online opportunities.

Laura has been a fixture at Quorum for more than seven years, having begun her career in travel and conferencing before developing into the areas of events and sustainability. It’s Laura’s job to deliver support to tenants based at the park, as well as their staff, through the kinds of initiatives that some organisations may see as just ‘box-ticking exercises’.

But for Laura, investigating, developing and delivering such benefits is a full time job and a passion she throws everything into.

Laura has built up a fantastic network of specialists throughout the North East region that work in different areas of corporate and social responsibility.

This has enabled her to deliver a whole package of opportunities to help improve individual and organisational wellness, in all areas of life, for every company that bases itself at Quorum Park.

As part of this, the Q Learning programme offers free on-site and online personal and professional development workshops on a range of subjects, including bullying in the workplace, Mental Health First Aid, Lean Six Sigma efficiency training, lung health, autism, domestic violence support and more. You name it, Q Learning has offered it!

A well-established women’s network offers tenants the chance to inspire and empower girls from the region’s least advantaged communities as mentors with The Girls Network, and Laura has herself worked with two girls on the scheme.

The network has also enjoyed presentations and fundraisers from providers such as the charity SmartWorks Newcastle, which supports local women into employment through training for job interviews and appropriate business wear, and often raises vital funds through bargain clothing sales.

In March this year, the park marked International Women’s Day with a women’s breakfast event, which had a packed agenda, with sessions on topics including the representation of women in advertising and traditional gender roles.

The event was such a success that Laura, whose work to promote best practice in sustainability last year helped Quorum Park to gain Green status at the Investors in the Environment Awards, is developing plans to run something similar again, and is always open to hearing from potential guest speakers.

Tenants can receive on-site financial advice from St James’ Place Wealth Management, and once a month, free will-writing support is available from The Will Guys. In addition, practical human resources guidance covers issues such as equality and diversity in the workplace, while skill development sessions in communications and digital marketing have looked at services such as public relations and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Previous events have included a sleep clinic, Fit Feb, which featured a month of free classes on mindfulness, smoking cessation and even group bike rides, and the park also has active triathlon and running clubs. All of this in addition to the park’s many features, which include pitches and courts for basketball, netball, tennis and football, a barbecue area, ping pong and pool tables, and retro arcade games to encourage team building and collaboration during people’s downtime at work.

November will be Quorum Wellbeing Month, which this year will be fully online, aiming to reach both Quorum Park staff working remotely as well as those still based in the office. Free seminars, workouts and downloadable tasks will include a webinar to ensure people set up their home offices and display screen equipment safely, a meditation session and even a workshop focused on Covid-19 recovery from Recovery4Life.

Laura said: “I love what I do; it can connect up to 7,000 local people with causes and interests close to their hearts, and introduce them to things they may have never heard of, but might want to learn more about. “I think people can be guilty of assuming many people working on business parks are nine to fivers in entry level roles who want to just clock on and clock off. But through the people I meet each day in my job, I’ve realised what a broad range of individuals we’re in a position to reach, with a huge variety of skills, not all of them necessarily connected to their job.

“People at work want the opportunity to explore their passions and interests and enjoy networking and learning. It’s often these things that make the difference between a job and a career, and I’m proud to be in a great position to provide a variety of activities that can add real value to people in their working lives.”

To find out more about the activities and support that Laura provides to go the extra mile for tenants, visit quorumpark.com/life/activities.