StellaHeadShotIt's the moment we've all been waiting for... it's finally Stella's turn in the #meettheteam series. If you want to know all about the heart of Integrity you've come to the right place. Not to give too much away but Stella is actually a bit of a celebrity, but more on that shortly. Let's cover off the basics first...

1. Tea or coffee?
Coffee every time. Tea makes me feel sick! (Wish I hadn’t asked). After years of trying to drink tea I finally decided enough was enough and have had to go tea-total!

2. Favourite YouTube video?
What’s YouTube?! (OK maybe move on)… There is one actually, with an electrician and a banana (definitely move on)!

3. What part of your job do you enjoy most?
Going home at 5! (She told me not to write that). No in all honesty I enjoy it all, it’s a nice place to work and I like the people. My life is spreadsheets and trackers (whatever rocks your boat I guess). Before starting work with Integrity (over 17 years ago) I had every job available in Maidstone so the fact that I’ve stayed here this long says a lot about the company (hear hear)!


4. What’s your favourite board game?
I’m a fan of Cranium. It’s a bit of allsorts (a little bit like the Integrity team)! The family’s favourite though is Humbug. Everyone can’t help but laugh at me because I can’t hum… I don’t know why but my head and arms start going at the same time!

5. Who’s your celebrity doppelganger?
Ooh I’m not sure if I have one? (Slight pause). Oh actually, when I was 17 at my first job in the Kent County Council typing pool, the older ladies I worked with said I looked like Lauren Bacall (who?). She was an actress in the 1950s apparently and I wasn’t convinced on any resemblance!

Although not a celebrity, my main lookalike is my identical twin sister. (On asking whether Stella would ever use it to her advantage) Of course! At school the teachers were naïve enough to sew our initials on our cardigans so they could tell us apart but we’d always switch them. We used to find it funny in the early years but later on in school Elaine (Stella’s ever so slightly older sister) wasn’t happy about being my twin… the teachers wanted to make her a prefect but couldn’t because I was too naughty and they still couldn’t tell us apart (tut tut)!

6. Claim to fame?
Well actually I’ve been on TV twice (show off)! My first appearance was on “Beadle's about” (amazing) where I stitched up my brother. We used to watch the show every week and at the time I remember him telling us about this double glazing salesman that he couldn’t get rid of, so I thought I’d try my luck and write in to the show. Long story short, they removed all of his windows and put them in a skip on the driveway when he was out one afternoon (pause for Stella laughing), whilst we were all hiding around the corner! We then had our time to shine on the sofa in the “Beadle's about” studio (worth a find on YouTube I think)!

My other appearance was on “Tommy’s fix your house for free” (fair to say the TV work took a dive) where we had Tommy Walsh come in to help with some DIY. I’m hoping to get Alan Titchmarsh in to do the garden next! Unfortunately for Stella, her husband Les (top bloke) isn't the best at DIY, but to be fair to him he's been married to Stella for almost 40 years (2nd October this year to be precise) so we still think he deserves a medal!

7. What would you say you’re known for in the office?
There’re probably a few things, my moany but polite poems about tidying up and stationery is one thing (they’re works of genius… more on that later).

I suppose I’m also the in house weather girl, Integrity’s Carol Kirkwood if you like (but a better dancer)!

And I suppose I was also famous for my Ryvita and apple lunches (literally every lunchtime) but I’ve recently taken the bold step of moving to rice cakes (Ryvita's profits have since plummeted, apparently).

8. Can you draw us a self-portrait and/or write us a poem?
Yeah I’m happy to do both, I can be a bit of an artist when I want to be (I have to say I agree)!

In a nutshell then, our beloved Stella (one of Integrity’s original members) is tea-total, can’t hum and has a mischievous side to her (just ask her brother and sister)!

She constantly fills the office with laughter and helps to keep us all in line (in a nice poetic way of course), has been at Integrity for 17 years and counting, and only has just over 1000 days until retirement (approximately)!

In true Stella style, we’ve been provided with a poem to sum up her life at Integrity. So keep your eyes peeled for another Stella special blog piece next week!

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