Production Manager stays on

Friday, 24 April 2020 should have been the last day at work for Paul Costigan, Production Manager of our manufacturing facility in Crawley. Paul had been with Welland Medical for 4 years. He and his wife relocated to the Isle of Wight at the start of the year, and he had a new job lined up within walking distance of his new home.

Then coronavirus happened. It put Paul in a situation he’d never faced in his 30 years in operations management.

“Once the coronavirus issue kicked off and we saw the size of the task at hand, I started having sleepless nights and nagging doubts about leaving Welland as there was just so much to do. I felt that I just couldn’t leave my team, everyone I’d worked with and seen develop over the last 4 years. I felt as if leaving would be turning my back on them, the business and our customers.

“I chatted through things with my wife, Parisa, and she said she’d support me if I decided to stay on. It would mean spending a couple of nights a week away from home and commuting from the Isle of Wight to Crawley.

“Besides her support, the company I had a new role with were very supportive too. They understood that I couldn’t walk away right now and why.”

A month after his decision, Paul is glad he made it. The task has been a big one, but together with his colleagues they have managed to adapt and keep manufacturing while ensuring everyone at the manufacturing facility is as supported and safe as possible, working to Government guidelines and advice.

Time away from home hasn’t been easy: “I’d really like to thank Parisa. She’s always level-headed and keeps me focused, and her help with this decision and making it work has been huge. I couldn’t do it without her support.”

When he does eventually leave us, Paul will be sorely missed. “I’ll miss the team and the camaraderie, seeing the growth that we planned for, and seeing the team develop and grow in confidence as they do the things I’ve always known they could.”

We will all miss him too, but likely no one more than our Engineering Manager, Jeff Hughes, Paul’s go-to-person when he finds things challenging and needs to talk them through.

“In the 4 years that Paul has been at Welland we have built up an extremely strong partnership developing a vision for the manufacturing environment that we are convinced will yield a strong motivated workforce, manufacturing the most innovative and best quality stoma products available.

“Paul is an extremely knowledgeable and charismatic person who has the rare ability to be able to effectively communicate to everyone within the organisation. During these ‘strange times’ this skill has been invaluable as we have tried to protect and communicate to the team through briefing sessions with the whole workforce on a daily basis.

Paul’s mottos at work are simple: Do what you say you’re going to do, listen twice as much as you speak, stand by and support your team. He’s definitely done that through this crisis, and we are very proud and grateful to have him with us during this time.

Paul and Parisa, thank you from all of us at Welland Medical. You’ve made us know what #InItTogether means.

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