Suzie (Suzanne) Gallagher, Helpline Development Officer

Often described as a radiator by day and a snooze machine by night!

All my working life I have been known as Sooze or Suzie rather than Suzanne. Due to the fact my mother is from Hull and can’t say Suzanne. She says “Our Suzanne” sounds like A La Shazzam! As far as street cred goes (get me down with the kids with the cool lingo) you have none when yer mammy calls you “A La Shazzam”.

I started with the organisation in October 2014. You can imagine how gutted I was when I arrived and there was already a Susie working for Scottish Families and I had to go by the name of Suzanne to avoid confusion. I also have the initials of SG which in work related documents tends to refer to Scottish Government. I regularly get the fear when reading documents thinking I’m responsible for stuff I know nothing about! From the get go my role has evolved and there have never been 2 days the same. I get to meet amazing people who I have worked with in the past but also get to meet a trillion new folk which is amazeballs. As you can see from this blog I’m back to being Sooze, life is so much easier being Sooze!

I’m the Helpline Development Officer and that basically means I manage all things helpline related. From managing call flows, emails, webchats and our online community support through to recruiting, training and supporting our amazing helpline volunteers. Without my team of helpline angels (a bit like Charlies Angels but non gender specific!) we wouldn’t be able to offer the level of support we do and they really are the cogs that keep the wheels turning (and also what keeps me sane).

It’s also my role to promote our helpline and support services. Through promoting our helpline we are raising awareness of the support available for families across Scotland and linking them in with local support services. I love nothing more than being invited along to an organisation to give them a wee overview of what we do and arrange a referral pathway for them to access our services. We have referral pathways agreed with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, GPs and treatment services to name a few but there are a million more we need to work with. Please get in touch if you would like me to come out and explain all. I also love to hear about what services and communities can offer so we can callers to local services. Keep me updated with what you have going on.

I also get the privilege of being part of the executive council that fundraises and organises the Scottish Recovery Walk each year. Although a very busy add on to my role I love it. It’s amazing to see the difference in areas before and after the walk. The changes in people and the buzz is something else. I also love a good bit of banter and there is plenty of that thrown in.

In my spare time (believe it I do actually have some) I make our merchandising items such as our “cups of hope” tea bags and our “positivity strings”. I’m usually hauling sticky tape and sparkles out for some craft or another. The team don’t mind so I carry on regardless. When I’m not at work, walking my dog or making stuff, I will be having a Sooze snooze on the sofa. Living the dream!

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