James' work at Sellafield helps him make a positive difference to the UK.
Kayleigh part of ‘world-first’ in Cumbria
Kayleigh Daniels, 29, is Business Development Manager and Business Area Manager for Remediation at REACT Engineering.
She returned to her hometown of Cleator Moor with her three young children, after living in the south for five years.
At 18 years old, Kayleigh kick-started her career with a national scholarship to study engineering, gaining a year’s placement at REACT, through the Year in Industry programme. Following this, and a short stint at LLWR, Kayleigh decided to relocate, moving down to Leighton Buzzard, just north of London. After five years, two jobs and an Open University course in physical science, Kayleigh decided to “put down some roots” back in Cumbria.
Kayleigh was offered a permanent role at REACT, working within decommissioning and remediation to determine where the company can support Sellafield, and other elements of the nuclear industry, to deal with the nuclear legacy.
“I see my role as an enabler. As a company we help our clients by oiling the cogs and pushing things forward; helping them to deliver projects in months that would have taken years. I love that side of things, because I can see I’ve made an impact.”
“We’re working on some really interesting projects, real world firsts. We’re really pushing the boundaries on a global scale.
“I’ve worked in different industries and lived in different places but here, I’ve got the most flexibility, the chance to make a difference. If you’re willing to put the effort in, you’ll move up faster than you would anywhere else.”
A key factor in Kayleigh’s move back to Cumbria was the quality of life that she wanted for her three children. In returning to Cleator Moor, she was able to buy a family home for £100,000, reducing her outgoings by £750 per month, compared to renting in the south. But, it’s not just value for money that Kayleigh appreciates, it’s the pace of life and opportunities.
“The most important thing is my children having the upbringing that I had: playing out a lot, climbing trees, running around in fields, the Lakes, the hills, and St Bees beach. When living down south, I found it really difficult not having all that around me and thinking that’s how my children were going to be brought up.
“There is no better place to bring up a family. I’m from Cleator Moor - the level of community spirit we have here is unrivalled by anywhere else. The upbringing that we can give our children here is unparalleled anywhere else in the county.”
Kayleigh’s work-life balance has improved since being in Cumbria, especially as she doesn’t have the three-hour commute that she had previously. She also feels supported by REACT, who ensure she is comfortable balancing her working hours and family-life.
“I get a lot of support from REACT. I sit on the board now and it is hard managing a senior position on top of having a family, but they have been very flexible. I think a lot of the employers around here are.”
And Kayleigh’s work-life balance allows quality time with her family.
“There’s opportunities to have more time with my children here. As a family, we go to St Bees beach - it’s very popular in our house! We go to The Beacon a lot, whenever they put a new exhibition on. My girls really enjoy it.
“The girls have lots of hobbies that they’re really excited about. My eldest goes to Quantum Leap Explorers Club at the Beacon Centre. They learn about the history of the area, conservation, science and the environment.
“The girls love it here. I don’t think they want for anything anymore. I couldn’t imagine bringing children up anywhere else.”