Meet our staff: Hannah Miles - Discovery Centre Assistant Manager

Meet our staff: Hannah Miles - Discovery Centre Assistant Manager
© Kt Bruce

Hannah Miles 

Rye Harbour Discovery Centre Assistant Manager

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Hampshire. I now live in Eastbourne Harbour, so my new job means I go from harbour to harbour!

I've previously worked for the National Trust, looking after volunteers, as well as for Sussex Past, organising events and weddings. Covid-19 meant that my plans over a year ago to move back to Hampshire weren't possible, but I'm very pleased to be here at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve working in Sussex Wildlife Trust’s first ever visitor centre. 

Tell us about what your role at the Discovery Centre entails.

I work with Centre Manager Liz and support her in running the centre. My main responsibility is looking after all the fabulous volunteers - existing and new -  welcoming them back, running inductions. Trying to recruit to new and different roles here, working closely with Leah Athol-Murray (Café Manager), Alexis Rogers (Community Engagement Manager) and Lucy Bowyer (Senior Communities and Wildlife Officer) with regards to Heritage Lottery #DiscoverRyeHarbour project funded activities. We have 35 centre volunteers, but not all are active at the moment, because of Covid-19.

What's a favourite aspect of your work so far?

Dave the seal! He swims up and down the estuary and you can see him from the office window. He brightens up my day. 

Common Seal 9449

What might a typical day involve?

Opening up everything in the centre and welcoming in the morning volunteers, talking to the café and education staff about what's going on that day. This can be anything from visiting dignitaries, to school groups, to maintenance issues. Carrying out any necessary administration to support the volunteers and the centre, checking that everyone on duty has what they need. At the end of the day closing everything down so that we are ready for a new day. 

Have you had any challenges so far?

A new building always brings some challenges, and we get extreme weather here, particularly wind recently, so this is a learning curve for all of us, but it's a lovely place to work. Lunchtime is our busiest time. Covering the weekends, in terms of volunteers, is something I'm working hard on at the moment. 

What has the response of visitors been, have you found?

Really positive, which has been lovely. There have been some technical hitches, which is inevitable in a new building, and of course the challenges of restricted numbers due to Covid-19, but our visitors have been kind, supportive and understanding. Which we really appreciate .

What qualities do you need for your work, would you say?

Good administrative skills, creative problem solving and thinking on your feet. You must be very organised. 

Lark or owl?

Definitely a lark.

Dog or cat or…?

Dogs! I have a Beagle called Robbie.

What’s your favourite drink and cake order from Lime Kiln Café? 

Hot chocolate and Victoria sponge. 

Find out more about the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre

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