Today we introduce the new Coordinator for the National Alkaptonuria Centre (NAC) in Liverpool. Hollie Washington is 25, and has lived in Liverpool all her life. This week she has traveled all the way down to Cambridge to visit the AKU Society office, and learn all about the work we do. We decided to ask her a few questions while she was here!

What were you doing before you applied for this position?

I was working in the Royal Liverpool Hospital as Staffing Coordinator for the Staff Bank. I’ve been working within the NHS for the last 9 years. I started working in Aintree University hospital part time when I was 16 and had a few jobs via their temporary staff. I then settled in their Orthopaedics department in June 2012, where I stayed until November last year before moving to the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

What interested you in becoming the Coordinator for the National Alkaptonuria Centre (NAC)?

I like having a job which has lots of different aspects to it. My previous job was pretty straight forward, and having worked within a fast paced multiservice environment for such a long time, I missed the variety which came with it. So when the opportunity came up to be NAC Coordinator, and build on my previous experience, especially in such a unique area, I knew I had to apply. When researching into AKU and the Robert Gregory Centre I knew I had made the right decision.

What are you most looking forward to about the job?

I’m really looking forward to the challenge of the job. Throughout my career in the NHS I’ve worked mainly within large teams; this job seems like it will bring a lot of independent work. I’m excited to be part of a team working so hard to raise awareness and find a cure for such a rare disease, and I look forward to the opportunities that may come along with being involved. More so, I’m eager to meet all of our patients and see how I can help on their journey.

What do you want to achieve most at the NAC?

I’ve got a lot of varied experience across the NHS, so I’d like to think I’ll be able to put it to good use and make my own mark. I hope to make our patients visits as smooth and easy as possible. I welcome the opportunity to work with the AKU Society and assist in raising awareness with them.  I want to be able to continue with the great work already being done at the NAC, and build upon the relationships with patients.

What are your hobbies outside work?

I enjoy doing lots of different things. I love to travel, so I spend a lot of time reading blogs and searching for all the places I want to visit; I actually have a travel bucket list which me and my friends are ticking off and constantly adding to. I also love music, so I try to combine the two. One of the best trips I’ve been on was to Barcelona and Valencia one summer, and going to the Benicassim music festival in between.

My family has a lodge in Anglesey, so I spend a lot of weekends there going on walks and exploring the island. Its great getting away from the city with friends and having a total change of scenery. I love it.

Favourite book/film/TV show and why?

I am obsessed with watching ‘The Big Bang Theory’. It’s my favourite TV show! As soon as I get in from work I put it on; it’s so silly and funny, especially at the end of a stressful day. I could watch it for hours. I recently watched Shawshank Redemption for the first time, and it very quickly became my favourite film.