Amanda Williams is a familiar face at Potters Resort and is our Group and Commercial Team Manager.
She has been at Potters for 12 years and she knows a thing or two about bringing Groups to Potters, and meeting and greeting our Group Leaders and their guests. We caught up with her for a chat…
Amanda, can you tell us about the roles you’ve been in since you first started at Potters?
I first started in 2004 working part time in the bars department, as I already worked full-time at First Choice Travel Agents as an Assistant Manager. I only intended on staying a year, but I loved it so much that I started working extra shifts and soon worked 5-6 nights a week. I started spending a lot of my time here as I’d made a lot of friends and enjoyed the social aspect, and later decided to join the company full-time and went for a job in the Commercial team. They ended-up employing internally for the job I initially went for, but the Groups and Commercial director liked my CV and created a Group Deputy Team Leader role for me in 2008. I have worked my way up and now oversee the Groups and Commercial teams, working closely with our director Sallyanne. I help ensure that we have good relationships with our Group Leaders, oversee and manage my Team Leaders and the team members, and look at bringing in new Groups and try to drive Sales for Groups as well.
How many group leaders do you work with?
We have around 400 to 450 group leaders. We have a great relationship with them and always ensure that we build a great rapport, and some have become very close to all of us, just like family, and its wonderful seeing them return to Potters time and time again. We also go to exhibitions so that we can talk to Group Leaders, and we do a few of these over the year and take our stand along, which shows off Potters in the greatest way. We were all so proud when we won Best Holiday Park at the Group Travel awards a few months ago, and my colleague Nikki and I got to meet Christopher Biggins!
What is the best thing about your job?
We have a varied role and no day is the same. We have a close relationship with group leaders and all our guests, and it’s great to see them have a good time and come back. It’s knowing you’ve done everything you can within your power to make their break memorable. Potters is the best company that I’ve worked for (sounds cheesy, but it’s true) and I’m very passionate about it. There’s nothing I like more than doing a guest show round when the sun is shining, standing on a balcony of a Penthouse and showing them the view, which is just incredible, and seeing their faces when you show them what is on offer. There’s more to Potters than people think. It’s also a family business, and the MD knowing your name and about your life is really special as it makes you want to do an even better job for them.
What are the team like you work with?
There’s 15 of us and they are a really great bunch of people. We are like a family and get on so well, and most of the team have been here over 10 years.
How good are you at bowls?
Terrible! I understand the rules and how to play, and I’ve had a go at bowls, but I’m not too good. The best thing is that anyone can have a go at playing but I’m just not the best player. Our Group guests love playing bowls and meeting players like Greg Harlow. The World Indoor Bowls Championships are always a special time but very busy for the team.
Dancing is incorporated on many of our breaks too. Can you dance?
I was lucky to have Richard & Lynn Miller try to teach me some tango, but I unfortunately have two left feet. Their dance sessions are wonderful and very energetic, and they have a lot of time and patience. If you haven’t been on a dance break before but would like to try, this is definitely something I would recommend.
What do you think people would be surprised to know about some of our groups?
Although he works closely with his mum, we have a 16-year-old group leader and he is so organised! He recently won our bowls tournament during his stay here, which is fantastic news. Also guests don’t have to be interested in bowls to come along on one of our Midweek breaks, as we have so many other facilities and activities for them to enjoy, and there’s never enough time to do everything. There’s so much variety and our evening entertainment from Potters Theatre Company is out of this world.
What is a standout memory from your time at Potters?
I have so many wonderful memories about my time so far at Potters and it really has been a very special place in my life. One of the moments I remember is when the launderette caught on fire many years ago and how everyone from all different departments pulled together as a team, going round to all the guests with torches and checking that everyone was ok, making tea, escorting people back to their bungalows. It was very humbling that the staff all pulled together at a time like that.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I like to try and keep fit, so enjoy going to the gym and also socialising with friends and family. I have spent over 20 years in the leisure and tourism industry and have had some very fond memories. I’ve also tried wherever I can to do my bit for charity and one of my best friends had severe multiple sclerosis and was very poorly, so I wanted to help and organised a variety evening in her honour to raise money for multiple sclerosis and raised £10,000. I can sing a little, or at least hold a tune, and I even managed to overcome my stage fright and sung her a song in front of 500 people.