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Going the extra mile for RSM members

For RSM staff, helping members to benefit from their membership of the Society is one of the most rewarding aspects of their jobs. Here Gavin Berkerey, Polly Brown (above left) and Sarah Longman describe the positive impact they are bringing to member experiences across the RSM.

Gavin Berkerey, Head of Membership and Marketing, joined the RSM seven years ago. For Gavin, the day-to-day variety of his role is something he particularly enjoys, from promoting the benefits of RSM membership to healthcare professionals in the UK and internationally, to raising awareness and increasing attendance for RSM education events.

“Being involved with helping the RSM to achieve its mission is a great motivation,” he says. “In other marketing roles and agencies you sometimes end up working on products and services that don’t feel so crucially important.”

Earlier this year Gavin was involved in a project to help a new cohort of medical students at the Crewe Campus of the University of Buckingham to establish themselves within the university. “On a visit to the campus I talked to the students about how the RSM can support them with their studies and introduced Professor Humphrey Scott (former RSM Dean) who ran a Q&A session about training and careers. We had some super feedback from the session.”

Gavin has subsequently bumped into Crewe students at other medical events and conferences and says: “It’s been great to see them come up and say hello and how they value the RSM and their membership.”

Library Customer Services Manager Polly Brown has been supporting RSM members in their learning and research for eight years. She and her colleagues field an eclectic range of library enquiries from members every day. “No day is the same and the variety of enquiries we receive from members is something I relish most about the job,” she says.

Requests range from helping members to access the digital resources through library webinars and face-to-face sessions, to finding articles for a member writing a paper, or delving into the RSM archives and secure stacks to help members with their research.

Discovering RSM treasures while curating exhibitions with the library team are a particular highlight for Polly, including a rare find for the current exhibition Celebrating 200 years of Louis Pasteur. She says: “We all knew that Pasteur had been an Honorary Fellow member of the RSM, but we hadn’t seen his 1883 nomination, ballot paper and proposal certificate before. My colleague Siobhan found these in the RSM archive and it’s been lovely to display them alongside other items and books about his career and life.”

Polly and her team are also involved in the First Wednesday library tours, taking it in turns to run a monthly free tour for RSM members and members of the public. “They’re a great way for people to find out about our library services, learn about the history of the RSM and discover some of the rare gems among our heritage collections,” says Polly.

Acting Front Office Manager Sarah Longman oversees the day-to-day running of the Front of House Team for the RSM Club and hotel, Domus Medica. Joining the RSM five years ago as Front of House Receptionist, Sarah enjoys meeting members from all over the world. “Helping our members and the customer service aspects of my role are what I enjoy the most,” she says. “Being with the members makes the job rewarding.”

Going the extra step to make every visit as comfortable as possible comes naturally to Sarah. Recalling a member who had arrived to stay at the hotel having inadvertently booked the wrong date, she says: “I went out of my way to see if we could accommodate them and managed to find them a room. They couldn’t thank me enough for going above and beyond for them. This is a general part of the job, but it was nice to feel that the effort was appreciated by the member and by her husband back at home.”

Like many organisations in the hospitality sector, the RSM’s club operations have been affected by staff shortages over the last 12 months, but Sarah and her team have pulled together to adapt to these new circumstances. “We always want to make sure our club operations run as smoothly as our members have come to expect. It’s been a big team effort.”

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