0.00.00 My name’s Deborah K. I’m a Media Officer for Northumbria Police. It’s interesting because the Police is at the centre of what’s going on so you’d be dealing with so many different things from minor traffic collision, giving information about road closures to a serious incident. There’s also the side where you sort of deal with families who have been involved in incidents.
0.00.30 I find it particularly rewarding if you could help a bereaved relative to put into words some of, a little tiny bit of what the person meant to them, what the loss means to them, try and help them to deal with that side of what they’re going through. At school my focus was always art and I did art and design as my priority, but I also loved English and history and so I did English literature, English language and then I carried on and did art, English and history at A Level and then I went to art school and after that I did a journalism degree.
0.01.00 There were two universities doing journalism type courses and I applied to both. Brunell offered me a place on the spot because I already had my A Level results and I took it. When I left university I applied for local newspapers but what I didn’t realise is that I didn’t actually have any useful education for the job.
0.01.30 What you need to be a journalist is media law and shorthand. So I tried for a bit, couldn’t get anything, loved art, was good at that and so I went into a design really accidentally and just carried on with that for about ten years and took the decision that I wanted to retrain and go back into journalism. So I applied for a job at the local newspaper who took me this time, trained me as, taught me all the media
0.02.00 law, shorthand, sent me on courses and stayed with them until I reached a senior reporter level and then applied to come work for Northumbria Police. I enjoyed reporting and a lot of aspects of it but the thing that made me decide to leave and go to work in the media office was that I felt very uneasy about turning up at peoples’ houses, knocking on the door and asking bereaved relatives to give me their story and
0.02.30 tell me about their loss, and often people were fine and were pleased to talk about their loved one but I’ve just always felt so guilty about doing it. My regret actually is that I had a really good education and then wasted quite a few years not really deciding what I wanted to do and it was, took me a long time before I retrained and knuckled down to something. So I would say yeah, I regret throwing away the years in my 20s when I was not really sure where I was going or what I was going to do.
0.03.00 My role model throughout my life has been my brother. He’s older than me and he’s always been the person I’ve tried to live up to and he’s very clever and he’s done very well in his own line of work and he’s always very supportive of everything I do and always says that everything I do is good regardless of whether it’s actually ridiculous. Outside my work my focus probably is art.
0.03.30 I still paint a lot and I sometimes come home and get things off my chest onto the canvas which can be very good. I also like riding, very keen on that. As a person I probably am a worrier, take things too seriously, come home and think oh I could have done that differently, could have done that better. So that’s when I paint to try and switch off and not think about that until the next day.