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Meet the Team: Kate Pattinson – Business challenges and thriving through the coronavirus

By Onyx Health | 25th June 2020


This month Content Writer Andrew Hair sat down with Onyx Health’s Business Manager Kate Pattinson, who has steered the agency through a challenging period of COVID-19 related economic disruption.  

The combined tasks of balancing the agency’s books and juggling childcare has been no mean feat for Kate. She provides some fascinating insights about her personal and professional responses to the current crisis.   

Tell us a little about your background and your current role at Onyx Health 

I have held many different finance-based roles in my career. I started out as a Ledger Clerk and progressed through the ranks to become Finance Manager for several North East based organisations. 

After starting a family, I took some time out to enjoy being a Mam, doing various part time finance positions to keep things ticking over. joined Onyx Health in the summer of 2019 as their Business Manager, after deciding the get back into the swing of things. As part of my role, I am responsible for the day to day financial management of the agency, this involves everything from keeping the books balanced to making sure people get paid at the end of the month. 

What have you personally found most difficult about the COVID-19 crisis? 

I am a very sociable, tactile person, so the combination of the lockdown and social distancing was tough to cope with at first. 

I really missed seeing close family and friends, especially my Dad who has a lung condition and needed to be shielded in doors throughout the lockdown. Like so many families we’ve had to make sacrifices putting the health of older relatives first, however much we miss them. 

Spending time with the kids has really kept me going during all the disruption. Megan and Luke are very different characters, but we have spent lots of quality time together, baking cakes, going out for nice walks and helping them with schoolwork 

What have been the biggest business challenges of COVID-19 for Onyx Health? 

Like all agencies, we have gone through a tricky period, but through careful financial management and thinking creatively as a business, we’ve weathered the storm and come out stronger.  Our MD, Karen Winterhalter, instilled a culture of not just surviving but thriving through the lockdown period, with has paid off massively for us as a business. 

The Government support available via the furlough scheme and the various grants and loans available were vital to help us get through the disruptionStaff wellbeing is one of our top priorities at Onyx Healthso we made sure that everyone had access to emotional support and training opportunities through the OH Training Academy whilst on furlough 

Diversifying into digital has been crucial to growing the agency throughout the crisis, opening up a whole new world of business opportunitiesOur approach has ensured we have bounced back remarkably quickly and are in a position to take on new clients and expand the agency. I am really proud of everything we’ve achieved, which has been a joint effort across the whole team at Onyx Health.    
What does the future hold for the agency now that the lockdown restrictions are starting to be lifted and the new normal emerges 

Despite the COVID-19 setbacks, we’re on track to achieve great things as an agency this year. We have secured a few new incomes streams; we have kept ourselves highly visible during the lockdown period and have been inundated by new business enquiries.  

The fact that Onyx Health have managed to sustain growth during one of the greatest periods of economic turmoil in living memory is a huge achievement.   

Our specialist expertise in healthcare has a crucial factor driving the business forward, our USP is our greatest asset and will be the foundational of our future growth. 

What’s more, our new digital offering provides a long-term digital solution to the sector’s communication challenges that really sets us apart from the competition. This unique combination will set us on the path to future success.  

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