A PA’s Day, the Art of Juggling… from Andrea Medd, PA to Dame Kelly Holmes

Two weeks into the school holidays. So far juggling work and the girls has gone well thanks to a holiday club for 4 mornings and having some friends round to play.

Work is usually a little quieter in August as lots of people are away. But quiet suits me right now as it gives me time to think ahead to a very busy second half of the year.

Kelly has nine speaking engagements for September. I’m booking in briefing calls for all of them, working out travel and logistics, booking hair and makeup appointments. Once sorted, the diary will change repeatedly as Kelly often wants to fit more into her day. Like so many PAs, I have had to master the art of juggling – and at short notice!

Day to day I keep track of Kelly’s life in an A4 note book and stay on top of it all with my constantly updated ‘to-do’ list. However when a month, like September, has so many engagements planned I draw tables to keep track of each one so I can see the key contact and what’s happening on each at a glance.

Two of Kelly’s engagements in September are health and wellbeing events with requests that her café (Café 1809) supply food and drinks. This takes more planning and liaising, as we need to work out what facilities Kelly wants there – van or hut, the size of the space needed, utilities such as electricity and water, seating space etc.

Another event is the International Pitman Training Conference for aspiring PAs, Secretaries and Administrator on 22 September. Kelly is speaking and sharing her amazing journey to Olympic Gold and how goals and motivation – as well as hard work, talent and belief – play a critical part in the route to success. I’m there too taking part in the Q and A.

My job is to make sure that everything in Kelly’s business life goes fairly smoothly and normally it does, but we have had a couple of close calls.

Travelling and transport are the main area where things can go wrong. For car travel I always use the AA route finder to find out how long a journey should take and then build in an extra 45 minutes – or longer if outside London!

A recent trip to an engagement in Wales didn’t go according to plan. The 3.5 hour journey took over 6 hours – terrible traffic, torrential rain and a Coldplay concert which meant roads had been closed. I spent about an hour texting everyone to keep them informed, the hotel manager kindly walked to a road block in the tipping rain to get Kelly’s bags so she was dropped straight to the venue – arriving only 45 minutes late! A bit stressful but not a disaster!

Then there was a missed train to Manchester when Kelly’s taxi and a bus had a scrape on the way to Euston. Fortunately the engagement was the next morning and Kelly had decided to travel the evening before. However well you organise, sometimes you just need damage limitation!

Getting back to events, Kelly is taking part in a Virtual Run for her charities which Fitness Rewards is organising for us. Keen runners can do their own virtual run anywhere or they can join in on the actual 5K event on the 10th September in Crawley. Kelly will be there! There is still time for all you keenies to join in – info at the end.

At the end of the month Kelly has a trip to Abu Dhabi for her work as Ambassador with a healthcare company called Daman in the UAE. She travels there 4 times a year to work with kids and motivate them in sport and encourage healthier lives.

I joined her in Dubai on one of her work trips and it was a great experience. We took part in the Daman Electric Run. It was 5K around a race course in the dark with sections lit up in neon lights and even at 9 pm at night it was pretty hot. Dress code was sports kit, pink tutus, neon torches and face paint! While Kelly sprinted off I took a leisurely approach as this was before my Personal Training sessions.

I’m just waiting for an engagement to come up in NY and perhaps I can persuade Kelly to let me carry her bags!

For now it’s back to my to do lists so I can have a couple of weeks off and come back supremely organised and in control – until I have to change it all.

Join the run: for details go to www.fitnessrewards.co.uk/runwithkelly/

Pitman Training International Conference for aspiring PAs, Secretaries and professional administrators www.pitmanlondontraining.co.uk

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