Sam Sharples - Park and Finance Safety Administrator at Wild Duck
An Exciting Journey of Learning

I am now in my 14th year with Bourne Leisure, the last seven of which have been with Haven. My very first role was as a Lifeguard at Butlin's Minehead way back in 1999; I’m now Park and Finance Safety Administrator at Haven Wild Duck.

Following my Lifeguard role, I progressed to Team Leader and then Senior Team Leader before I took a year out to go back-packing around the world. When I returned to the UK I re-joined Butlin’s as Assistant Manager for the whole Sport and Leisure team. After three years in this exciting role I had the wonderful news I was about to become a dad and moved to Warners Corton Coastal Village as the Leisure Manager there. A career change led me to leave Bourne Leisure, but then in 2015 I was asked if I’d consider returning as Leisure Manager at Wild Duck Holiday Park; I jumped at the chance due to many fond memories of working for the company. I’ve had so many memorable experiences, from being the designated First Aider for the WWF wrestling stars at a show at Butlins, to the immense pride of having my department being voted the ‘Team of The Year’. But best of all has been knowing I have a second family in my team at Wild Duck who are definitely friends for life.

I’ve been given many opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. On the Leisure side, I’ve gained my NPLQ, RLSS T/A, PPO, SPTO, First Aid at Work, NVQ 3 in Sport & Recreation Supervisory and ISRM Train the Trainer. I’ve also passed the Next-Gen training and in the last year I’ve gained Food Hygiene Level 3 and Fire Warden qualifications. I’ve also completed training in sales and retail, interview skills and disciplinary and grievance procedures; I’ve recently signed up to complete my NEBOSH certificate as I’d love to progress further in Health and Safety. What’s more, I’ve been nominated as the ‘Park’s Biggest Wuss’ three years in a row due to my fear of spiders!

During my time here I’ve been fortunate enough to be a Magical Leader at Butlins, delivering the Road Map sessions, and a Haven Pioneer for the last four seasons with Wild Duck. It’s quite surprising how much talking about our Values and culture has affected how I conduct myself out of work as well, and I often find myself using the Values in my personal life, and with my daughter. I’ve also just qualified as a Wellbeing Mental Health First Aider, a course that has really opened my eyes, and made me see that I can really make a difference with supporting our team here on Park.

One great team
We are all Haven together
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