Staff Spotlight - Apryll Mackie
Tell us about yourself?
Hi, I’m Apryll, I’m 29 years old and will be turning the big 3 0 this year! Fun fact, I wasn’t born in April, despite what my name may suggest…
I live in Fife, although originally from Perthshire, with my fiancé who I marry in July this year, and my 2 spoiled doggos, Beau who is a collie/retriever mix and Arlo who is a Romanian Rescue (we are not quite sure what breed he is, but he’s beautiful).
What is your role at UHI Perth?
I started at UHI Perth in the summer of 2019, and the following summer I took on the role of Student Support Worker within Student Services. I provide emotional and guidance support for students throughout the year and run daily drop-ins along with support appointments in the Student Support Hub. I am the first port of call for students who are looking for mental health support, whether it be for struggles at home, exam stress, relationship problems, low self-esteem, attendance issues etc. or something that requires internal or external sign posting for more in-depth support. I work with a variety or external organisations such as RASAC and The Neuk where I can refer students for support, along with our other support services within UHI Perth.
I am also the support contact for care experienced students and co-ordinate the Get Ready for College pre-entry workshops through summer, which is helpful for those who may be feeling anxious about starting their course. I deliver workshops with my colleagues, such as ‘Decider Skills’ and facilitate the student led LGBT+ and Allies Group. I am also a duty worker which means I work on a rota system with the other duty workers, and we provide cover to support students in crisis or in immediate need of support whilst in college.
What’s the best part of your job?
My favourite part is getting to work with our students. As cliché as it sounds, speaking to and supporting those who don’t have an outlet to talk about things that may be happening at home, or the stress they feel with their course, or coming to disclose something that has plagued them for a long time is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
What is a typical day at work like?
Most days are busy; however, I like that. I come in and do my emails in the morning along with my drop-ins from 9.30-11.30am, then the rest of the day is made up of support appointments and any admin work (with a few cups of tea along the way…)
Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I won’t lie, I’m pretty boring, but I do love spending time with my doggos. Whether that’s snuggles on the couch, or walkies somewhere. I very much enjoy being around my friends and family, especially when the warm weather is here, and we crack the BBQ on and chill in the sun!
Favourite type of food?
Chinese or Italian food is my favourite – definitely a carb hog. However, I do also have a rather insatiable sweet tooth.
Favourite holiday destination, and why?
I think my favourite holiday so far was Gumbet in Turkey. My fiancé and I went on a day’s boat tour around several different ‘must see’ areas on my birthday, where we got to hold an octopus, swim in a mud cave and dive to see the fish – it was magical.
Where would you like to travel next?
My next holiday will most likely be my honeymoon, so I would like to go somewhere like Mexico, Greece or Egypt!
Favourite TV show or film?
I am very much a horror movie and true crime documentaries connoisseur. However, I have recently been binge watching Peaky Blinders and re-watching the Black Mirror series.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young, I wanted to be an actress – I even played in the Christmas panto, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Turns out I’m not cut out for the limelight. After this, I really wanted to become a midwife – I wanted to help bring life into the world and support new mums and their babies. Now I support people, just in a different way.