Mark Cowan, Turn2us Advisor at Kura
I’ve been told not to write “working for Kura is awesome”, which I get. However, they haven’t told me not to write that I am awesome, and I only like to work at places that suit me, being an awesome person and all.
I have worked in a lot of call centres, and they are not all the same. I’ve been lucky to have worked for some really good companies although these tend to average three years each. I’ve worked at Kura for 3.5 years (and counting), so that’s got to be a good thing. I came here because one of my former call centre colleagues recommended Kura and I started working for an Insurance campaign, where the customer really was the focus. There’s plenty of talk about “being customer-focused”, and with this particular Insurance client, there was plenty of follow-through on this, it was a role I very much enjoyed. I then heard about the Turn2us campaign coming to KURA and applied for the current role I’m in, starting in March 2015. It’s been a great move for me.
Working for Kura/Turn2us is one of those rare “making a difference” jobs. We go through benefit checks for customers, and try and locate grants they can apply for and signpost them to places where they can get advice and hopefully answers to their queries and problems. That’s problems including people losing their benefits, looking for funds to pay for funerals, and needed household items, through to signposting to foodbanks, and many, many more situations. The work can be rewarding and challenging but I work with beautiful people here at Kura on the Turn2us team, and that is “a lovely, lovely thing” to coin a phrase from John Torode from Masterchef. It’s worth nothing that John Torode did not run three marathons in 4 months last year (unlike me) raising over £2,400 for Turn2us from the 2016 London Marathon. Kura was really excellent over this period giving the money raised from 2 x dress down days at work, and a further £500 contribution towards my fundraising.
You’re almost certainly musing on my name (Mark Cowan) by now, and you’re right to do so. Yes, it’s me, the UK Helplines Adviser of the Year 2016/17, Mark Cowan. That wasn’t just any year, I was up against Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and Iron Man, in addition to every other Helpline adviser throughout the UK. This was really an award for our team and how we handled the Turn2us campaign in its first full year at Kura. Having said that it sits proudly on my mum’s living room shelving (no mantlepieces these days). I can imagine the younger members of staff at Kura, reading this, googling what a mantlepiece is now.
We can spend more time at work with our colleagues than we do with most of our family, so colleagues, workplace and employer are important. I’m not saying “Come to Kura, it’s like Disneyland”, but I can say that if your experience with Kura is like mine, particularly if you are as awesome as me, then it’s something to consider.