“It’s all about communication” says Yolanda, the Customer Service Officer

Yolanda Rowe

Visitors to Borough Hall are likely to recognise Yolanda Rowe – not only has she worked for Bedford Borough Council for nearly six years, but she is one of the first faces you will see on reception as a Customer Service Officer. 

Yet there is more than meets the eye to Yolanda, who is also a student, a musician, and an online content creator.

Yolanda initially joined the Council as an apprentice with the Early Help team, before taking her current role in 2020.

“I’ve learnt so much here, from project management and events management, to working with the public and administration,” she said.

“On reception there’s often pressure, especially when customers have complaints or worries, but what people want more than anything else is to be listened to and know that we are here to help. And there’s so much to do, such a plethora of services that the council provides, I don’t think I realised until I took this role.”

Yolanda is also a musician, songwriter, and producer, who frequently works as both a live and studio musician. She sings, plays both piano and violin, and is currently studying Business Management at university after originally planning to study music.

She described the impact working for Bedford Borough Council has had on her life and her view of the world.

“I came here when I left school and was deciding what I wanted to do with my life, whether to go to university, and what to study if I did,” she said.

“Being here really helped me to change my perspective and challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone. It’s given me new skills and allowed me to realise how I can use them to present myself as a musician, at university, and other life spaces. 

“I’ve been really lucky to have such good mentors, in both my roles. Sarah Rayner and James Braddon were great when I first came here, helping me to navigate the job. And as a Customer Service Officer I’ve had mentors like Jonathan Swindale, Jason Rose, Kristine Sanderson and Laura Brennan – they’ve been fantastic through all the highs and lows. But I’ve had so many mentors, in all the departments I’ve worked in. Overall, the council has definitely been an integral part of the foundations to my growth.”

She added: “Every Friday I post a feelgood post on Instagram, something to make people smile, explore a new song, lifestyle videos – it’s videography with a sense of humour. It’s really all about communication – just like working as a Customer Service Officer.”  

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