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Supporting the Covid-19 test effort

James Render, Commercial Banking Graduate

As an army reservist, James can be called upon to leave his job and work with the forces for up to a year at a time. When coronavirus hit the UK, he was asked to help out – with no idea what he’d be doing, where he’d be going or how long he’d be needed for.

I loved being able to help people

“Soon after signing up, my unit was tasked with setting up and running a Covid-19 testing site. Members of the public would drive in, we’d guide them through the swab test, then get their samples sent off to the lab. Many were anxious as the test is uncomfortable, so a big part of my job was to talk them through the process and reassure them. For me, that was the most rewarding part.”

I learned a lot about leadership

“As an officer, I was responsible for running the test site. That meant everything from planning how to set it up, to managing and motivating the team. In that position you’re accountable for everything, so if something goes wrong it’s on you. It was intense, but it was a great experience. I’ve learned how to lead and listen to people, which are skills I know will be important in my career.”

My manager supported me all the way

“Lloyds Banking Group is a gold member of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, which means that they offer the highest level of support to the Reserves. Although it wasn’t clear how long I’d be away, my manager encouraged me to take as much time as I needed and said my place on the programme would be waiting for me when I came back. I couldn’t have done it without their support.”


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