From work experience to long service awards!

Mar 16, 2017
Posted in: Ragdale Hall News   Posted by: Joni Appleton

Can you imagine coming to Ragdale Hall to find guests using tanning beds and there being only one pool? When the then hairdressing student Zoe Heightley started her work experience here 25 years ago, that’s exactly how it was – and she thought it was amazing!


Now Ragdale Hall’s Senior Treatments Manager, Zoe has seen numerous changes during those 25 years working with us, which she celebrated this month (although we don’t think she looks old enough to have been here that long!)

Originally from Portsmouth, Zoe moved to the area in 1987 with her parents and started a hairdressing course at Clarendon College in Nottingham. She says the college arranged her work experience at Ragdale Hall and she never looked back.

She was soon taken on for weekend work covering the ‘sun centre’ and spa desk, and when her course finished it was a natural progression to work here full time, eventually moving over from hairdressing to beauty.

And it’s not just the Hall that’s changed during those 25 years, Zoe hasn’t stood still either. She’s achieved many promotions, becoming Beauty Supervisor, then further down the line Senior Beauty Supervisor, followed by Treatments Manager and now Senior Treatments Manager. She’s also one of our Duty Managers and knows many of our regular guests like they’re family as she’s seen them so often. Zoe and her partner, Tim, have one son who is about to turn 13, and if she finds any spare time she enjoys working out at her local gym, as well as eating out.

Zoe said: “I still really enjoy my job. It’s the staff and guests that make it so varied. I can honestly say I learn something new every day…even after 25 years!”

One very important part of Zoe’s work here has been inducting new Beauty Therapists and in 1997 she welcomed a young therapist called Gemma Carpenter who had moved from Oxford – and the Oxford International College of Beauty – to pursue her career in the beauty industry.

gemma blog

Twenty years on Gemma (now Jackson) is still with us and celebrating that 20 year milestone – neither Zoe nor Gemma predicted they’d work so closely together for so long.

Like Zoe, Gemma first visited Ragdale Hall on a work experience placement. After leaving college she worked for a few months in a local salon but soon built the confidence to leave her home town and make the move to pursue her dream job.

Gemma has continually progressed in her career, becoming our Induction Co-ordinator, Treatments Manager, and now our Recruitment Supervisor – recruiting and welcoming new therapists to our highly regarded team.

Gemma (pictured second left) with her mum, nan and auntie, taken 20 years ago!

Gemma (pictured second left) with her mum, nan and auntie, taken 20 years ago!

Gemma said: “I love working in this industry and because it’s always developing and changing, it continues to feel new and exciting. A lot has changed over the years!” [including your lovely uniform, Gemma!]

Life outside of work has also changed for Gemma who is now settled near to Ragdale, married and has a seven-year-old daughter called Evie.

Congratulations to them both!

Interested in finding out how you can be part of the team here at Ragdale Hall? Find out more here




2 responses to “From work experience to long service awards!”

  1. Sian Burdett says:

    Hi I am currently doing my Level 2 Beauty Therapy at college and I was wondering if you take anybody on for work experiennce.
    Many thanks
    Sian Burdett

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