It’s fair to say that Emma wasn’t particularly looking for a new job when she applied for the role of office manager at Sansaw. She’d spent 20 years with the RAF as a helicopter medic and had moved onto Jaguar Land Rover where she was working on projects which helped people integrate from the armed forces, through its landmark Mission Motorsport program.
But it was while looking for a job for her brother that she saw the opportunity to help become an integral part of the estate’s management and progression.
“I’ve always loved the estate and what it stands for. I’m a Shrewsbury girl originally and I wanted the chance to come back home and do something which mattered.”
Her forces’ career put her on the frontline in the Middle East in 2003 and 2011 and she also worked as a training instructor at the Defence Medical School as well as managing an Armed Forces Careers Office in Portsmouth. However, after countless deployments, she called time on the RAF in January 2017.
“I just didn’t want to do medical ops anymore,” she says. “When I turned up it was everyone else’s worst day. I wanted to do something that was more positive, so I planned to look for roles that were more jolly and upbeat.
“I’ve always been conscious of people being institutionalised in the forces and I wanted to ensure I prepared myself adequately for civilian employment. It was a big step for me – I loved the camaraderie and travel, but I think for me the military changed and became a different place. There was 120,000 people in RAF when I started and it’s now down to approx 35,000.”
After short internships with American Golf at the Belfry, MBNA and the Bank of America, both in Chester, an opportunity arose at JLR.
The 39-year-old first got a taste for life in the RAF after enrolling in the Combined Cadet Force, at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College at the age of 14.
“I did my Year 10 work experience at RAF Shawbury and that was it – I knew it was what I wanted to do. Dad was briefly in the Navy as an electrician but there was no family history really in terms of the forces.”
Away from work, she’s a huge music fan and is heading to Portugal to the Rock in Rio Lisboa 2018 festival.
“I’ve got a very eclectic taste in music,” she confesses. “Historically I love Fleetwood Mac as well as bands as diverse as Muse and Ben Howard. I also love trail running but I never listen to music when I run…I just love the sights and sounds I encounter along the way. And there’s nowhere better to run than Shropshire.”