Helen Rees

I have been PA to the Chief Executive at Marwell Wildlife since March 2011.

A music graduate of Southampton University, I began my career in 1994 as an Arts Administrator working in local authorities and arts centres in Hampshire before securing a PA role at Southern Arts (the regional arts funding body) where I spent 4 years supporting the Local Authorities and Education teams. I then became Project Manager at Portsmouth-based Music Fusion, one of the first lottery-funded Youth Music Action Zones in the country.

Taking a couple of breaks to look after my young family, I returned to work part-time as PA to the Head of Health at the Audit Commission for 6 years, before the full-time Marwell role enticed me away from the public sector into the charity sector (not to mention the zoo industry!) for the first time.

My role at Marwell includes providing all aspects of PA support to the Chief Executive and Director of Conservation, as well as to the Chairman and Board of Trustees (including several sub-committees). In 2018 I took on responsibility for our Reception team from another department, transforming their integral role within the organisation & supporting them as valued members of staff. I constantly seek to add value to my role, and this is described in the ‘significant achievements / contributions’ section below.

In 2015 I founded the South Hampshire PA Network, which is described in the ‘helping others’ section below.

In October 2015 I was selected as one of just 6 finalists in Executive PA Magazine’s PA of the Year Awards, and in November of the same year I won SecsintheCity’s Social Media PA of the Year Award. These accolades have also resulted in my being asked to write blog articles and take part in online interviews for various PA industry websites and magazines. I recently embarked on public speaking engagements too, at PA training & network events, leading the #OneProfessionOneVoice Choir at ExecSecLive conferences around the world, and speaking about PA networks and the PA career pathway for Hays, Vonlanthen, regional PA networks and Hemsley Fraser. I was a founder member of EPAA’s Regional Advisory Board when EPAA launched in 2017, a voluntary role I held for 2 years.

In my spare time I am a keen (not very fast!) runner, I sing and play piano, and tend an allotment growing my own produce for home cooking.