Neville is the receptionist for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences and acts as the first point of contact for people coming into the Boldrewood building. He connects visitors with the staff they are meeting, answers queries, and dispenses temporary parking permits amongst a variety of other duties.
Neville is the receptionist in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
‘There is everything you could think of in terms of queries,’ says Neville. ‘Some members of the public might bring in a weird fly or other insect and ask what it is. They are so thrilled when someone from Biological Sciences can identify it for them.’ But the most frequent request is for car parking. ‘Parking is the biggest headache,’ says Neville.
‘First and foremost, my job is to help people. If I do my job right, then everyone is happy. I like meeting people. Without the students, none of us would be here. I like the hustle and bustle when the students are here,’ says Neville.
And there can be no doubt of Neville's popularity amongst the students.
‘I was in the School of Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences for six years and knew every student by name. When I left, three years ago, the students gave me a Manchester United jacket. Now, those students are finishing and some of them have come around to say goodbye,’ he says.
Neville was born in Bangor, North Wales. He took an apprenticeship as a bricklayer, married, and then travelled in his work for 28 years. As the General Foreman for Wimpey Construction, he worked abroad for 10 years in Nigeria, South Africa and the Middle East, mainly working on dams. In his last job before joining the University in security services in 1997, he worked on the Jubilee Line in London. ‘But when that job ended, I didn’t want to travel anymore. I wanted to be able to go home after work,’ says Neville.
In his youth, Neville was an amateur boxer who represented Wales. Later, he ran his own club and coached young boxers, including an Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) champion. ‘Today, amateurs have sponsors and get fantastic support through the lottery. We had to depend on the public houses. I’d go round and they’d set up a bowl on the bar and collect for us. They gave generously and that’s how we got gloves and equipment,’ explains Neville. Now, his hobbies include gardening and being ‘a fanatic Manchester United fan.’
‘I really enjoy my job and the people in the Faculty. But, retirement is my next challenge,’ he says. Neville has lived in this area for 22 years. ‘When we first came to this area, we used to go to the New Forest. I said it was like North Wales without the mountains.’
He and his wife plan to return to North Wales where his three children and five grandchildren live. He built a conservatory on his house here and will probably turn his hand to working on a new house in North Wales.