We travel back to Guernsey for our latest Sovereign Story where we meet Rhianne Fitch. Rhianne’s job title is HR Manager and as we were about to discover her role is somewhat diverse. Apart from being the office’s principal First Aider, Rhianne is also qualified to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide support to anyone in the office who may need it. We were to uncover another fascinating journey in this story.

Married to Jacob, Rhianne turned thirty in November last year. She and her husband are local and met whilst at school. They are the proud parents of daughter Edith who is three years old. Rhianne’s extended family come from various places in the UK and Ireland, so she gets the opportunity to travel often.

Rhianne’s passion is for the Performing Arts. Predominantly she is a dancer participating in classical ballet, modern and tap. She holds several Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing qualification and is experienced in drama and singing too. From the age of four, she performed in Guernsey and the UK for fifteen years. She can include in her credits performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End. Although work and family commitments have somewhat restricted her creative output these days, she is still involved in amateur dramatics and the occasional pantomime.

Her daughter already shows promising signs of continuing in her mother’s footsteps and her main interest appears to be singing. Nevertheless, smiles her mum, at just three she has a long way to go.

After leaving Guernsey’s sixth form centre at just eighteen years of age, her job at Sovereign is her first. She is still there, she says with a smile. So why has she stayed? As with many others in the group, she cites the friendly, family atmosphere found in all locations. Her job has taken her to both the Malta and Wirral offices where she has made some firm friends.

With a background in Am-Dram, Rhianne loves people and is a great listener. In August 2011, she joined Sovereign as an administrator in the pensions business. She soon realised that Sovereign offers unlimited opportunities – for those keen to grab them. When a position arose four years later within Human Resources, Rhianne was in the right place at the right time and jumped at the chance. She began working closely with Georgie Scott to whom she credits her success as she has mentored and supported Rhianne over the years.

An Associate of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Rhianne has since taken on the HR Manager role covering both Sovereign companies in Guernsey – the trust / fiduciary side and the pensions business. The total staff complement is more than fifty, so she has her work cut out. Rhianne tells us that one day is never like the next and that as HR Manager she gets to do “a little bit of everything”. She believes that the integrated system recently rolled out across the group is going to be very helpful.

Rhianne is proud to be a First Aider. She was delighted with the keen response when Sovereign allowed everyone a chance to learn basic first aid including training on the office buildings defibrillator.

Rhianne is also passionate about promoting positive mental health. Once again, Sovereign Guernsey leads the way in this field caring for its staff. Rhianne considers mental health and wellbeing to be as important as physical health. She is able to support staff on work issues and (if they allow it) on personal matters too. Rhianne originally gained her certificate in Mental Health First Aid with Guernsey Mind in 2019.

Rhianne tells us that in some areas she feels the island as a whole has some catching up to do compared to its peers in the UK and elsewhere. By way of example, she mentions laws concerning discrimination, paternity leave and indeed mental health. In the past, she says, the island did not have a great record of accomplishment in these areas. She thinks that this is why working for Sovereign is so refreshing and its staff the envy of many other local companies. Sovereign is most certainly leading the way. Rhianne notes that the island is legislating only now in areas where Sovereign has already been for several years.

Away from work, Rhianne’s family accounts for most of any free time. Apart from Jacob and Edith, her extended family includes three brothers, a sister, a niece and a nephew. She loves taking her daughter on walks around Guernsey’s beautiful coastal paths and beaches. Last year she even encouraged her to take part in the “30 bays in 30 days” charity swimming event.

When closing, we normally ask our Sovereign Story subjects to tell us an anecdote or something their colleagues do not know about them. Unsurprisingly, Rhianne had one ready. Some years ago, she sang and released a cover version of a song called Judy’s Toybox by The Jetset. She explains that her uncle owns UK indie record label Twist Records, and this experience developed her confidence for the future. We wish you continued success – not just at work, but as you tread and dance those boards too.

Good luck with everything – and thank you for your time.

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