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Horror of the month

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Meet the team

Welcome to a brand new feature, "Meet the Highfield Team". In this issue we welcome a new team member and congratulate another on 10 years' service.

Highfield’s new Environmental Health Manager: Tracy Wain

Tracy WainAlthough I’m originally from the Doncaster area (where Highfield is based), I moved to the Cotswolds in 1990.

In a previous life I was a hotel manager, but I changed career after graduating from Worcester University with an Environmental Science Honours degree.

Before joining Highfield, I spent nine years as a Food Safety and Health & Safety Enforcement Officer at Cotswold District Council.

As Lead Officer for Health and Safety, I liaised with the HSE on several occupational health projects, including the development of swimming pool guidance and radiation risk assessment. I also worked closely with the Health Protection Agency on infection control procedures.
As Highfield’s Environmental Health Manager my job involves product development and client management as well as training and auditing.

I also develop and maintain Highfield and The Anaphylaxis Campaign’s Practical
Allergen Training Course for the Food Industry.

My duties also include responsibility for health and safety at Highfield’s premises.

In addition, I am an advisor on health and safety for Highfield’s Awarding Body for Compliance.

I am looking forward to an interesting and varied role at Highfield, alongside a lovely group of people who are highly dedicated to their work. The opportunity to liaise with Highfield’s impressive list of corporate clients is very exciting, as is the chance to contribute to the development of some excellent future projects and products.


Chris WoffendenHighfield's In-House Illustrator: Chris Woffenden

The work of illustrator Chris Woffenden will be instantly recognisable to Highfield customers, as he is the talent behind the distinctive cartoons featured in our books, presentations and many other training products. To mark his 10 years’ service with the company, we dragged Chris away from his drawing board to tell us more about his work.

What does your job involve?

“I provide artwork within a quick turnaround time to meet and often surpass our clients’expectations – I don’t think there are any other companies that can provide a service like this within our market.”

What is your work process for a typical illustration?

“I work in a traditional manner with pencil and paper to produce initial sketches. I then ink them up using broad markers and drafting film. Lastly I add colour to the images with computer software.”

What was your background before joining Highfield?

“I studied Graphic and Advertising Design at Wakefield College and spent the following seven years with the college’s graphics team, creating publicity materials and displays. I then joined the School Museums and Resource Service in Wakefield, working on museum quality displays which I really enjoyed. After a move to Wakefield District Council’s Environmental Health Department (headed up by a certain Richard A. Sprenger), I was thrown straight into the deep end of environmental health and was given the task of creating amusing images for food safety training packs.”

How did you come to join Highfield?

“After many years at WDC, financial restraints on local authorities eventually meant my particular skills were considered something of a luxury, so I decided to reduce my working hours to pursue my love of illustration on a freelance basis from home. Richard Sprenger then approached me to produce some illustrations for the company he ran with his wife, Jayne, called Highfield Publications. The work kept coming and coming, so much in fact that I was asked to join the company on a full-time basis.”

Have you always had an interest in art?

“I could always draw and paint. My infant school teacher Mrs Lloyd said I had a gift and encouraged me a lot. Mr Foy at Pontefract Boys Secondary School suggested I went to art college – until then I never knew such things existed! You never forget a good teacher. My parents were a great influence too.”

What artists do you admire?

“Terence Cuneo’s artwork always evokes strength, movement and excitement. Edward Ardizzone, a war artist and illustrator, worked on books like “Stig of the Dump” and “The Otterbury Incident” which were always my favourite reads at school – or maybe I just looked at the pictures! Like so many people my age, one of my great influences was the late Tony Hart from TVs “Vision On”. He showed you how to do things in a very gentle way that left you in no doubt you could do it if you tried. A truly great individual and a sad loss to children’s TV. And yes, I did have a painting shown in the “Vision On” Gallery.”

Chris at work after Edward Ardizzone

What kind of projects do you most enjoy working on?

“I like having new subjects to draw, like the artwork in the upcoming Door Supervisors Course Book (to be published later this year) – something a bit different with its own new challenges.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“My role also involves graphic design but I am happiest and most creative when I am drawing.”

Have you ever had any unusual illustration requests from clients?

“Funnily enough it’s usually Richard Sprenger’s ideas and unique sense of humour that pose the biggest challenges - how do you draw a person who is sat on the toilet and projectile vomiting, yet still keep it tasteful?!”

What are your interests outside of work?

“My two sons keep me very busy! They are both budding artists and can already draw pretty well. I am a keen collector of WWII militaria and also a “living history” enthusiast, giving talks at schools and “live interpretation” as a WWII soldier.

Do you have any inside secrets you’d like to share with our readers?

“I sometimes put little homages and caricatures of Highfield staff into my pictures for our eagle-eyed customers to spot, so keep your eyes peeled…”

We welcome feedback! If you have any comments regarding this newsletter or any of its contents,
please contact jfell@highfield.co.uk