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A Rise to the Top: Sally Sendell’s Story

Image of Sally Sendell

At Workpays, we value every member of staff and believe that their professional development and growth are at the heart of our core values. Regional Operations Manager, Sally Sendell, has enjoyed several promotions within the company, proving that anything is possible when you work hard enough. This hard work began back when Sally was at school, as she secured B’s and C’s on a fantastic GCSE results day.

Sally joined the Workpays family in November 2016 as a study programme and traineeship tutor, when at the time, there was no centre in Derby. In fact, Sally and the rest of the team worked out of a back room of a club!

Once we had established our centre in the city, Sally enjoyed teaching learners and making a difference in their lives. In the Summer of 2018, she was promoted to NACRO contract performance supervisor, where she became a specific point of contact for this provision.

She said: ‘’I quickly realised that I had a natural ability to manage really tough and stressful situations which led to me being fortunate enough to keep getting promoted with Workpays. 

‘’After working with the NACRO team, I was promoted again to the Head of our NEET contracts, overseeing every single contract in the area, including the Black Country and Worcester.’’

Once she had accomplished her goals in this area, she was promoted to Head of Operations where she could oversee all contracts for the company. This led to her being promoted to her current role as regional operations director for the West, alongside her colleague, Michael Bingwa, who has taken the role of regional operations director for the East. 

Sally hasn’t always envisioned a career in management she qualified as a nurse back in 1992 and worked in Early Years at the start of her working life. She even worked as a nanny for 5 years! However, once she secured a role as nursery manager, she knew being a leader was her strength.

She stated: ‘’Management is something I thoroughly enjoy. I believe I am very good at my role as due to working my way up, there isn’t really a job I haven’t done!

‘’I’ve been a tutor and a regional manager - there aren’t many members of staff that I can’t relate to as at some point on my journey I have been in their position.

‘’It has also been great seeing how every team within the organisation cares about the people who walk through our doors wanting a new start everyone at Workpays truly cares about the learners, which is hard to find in many businesses.’’

Sally believes that sharing her story will encourage others to realise that there are always options.

She said: ‘’At school, I wanted to be a chef and my dad bought me all equipment ready for my new start. After working on a community project at the local infant school, I realised teaching was where I wanted to start my career, meaning it was lucky that my dad kept the receipts on those cooking utensils! 

‘’My point is that it is never too late to make a change - whether that be completely shifting job sectors, or deciding you want more from your future, it is possible if you work hard. All provisions delivered at Workpays teach transferable skills, meaning you really can go in any direction you wish. Whether you get amazing results or you feel disappointed in your achievements, there is always success on the horizon.

‘’I was a single parent when I started this journey  it could have been very easy for me to decide to go on benefits, but I didn’t want to. I wanted the best out of life for my daughter. She has worked since she was 15 and is now on an apprenticeship as I have taught her to always work hard and never give up on going after what you want.

‘’If we don’t believe in ourselves, no one will. Anything is possible when you keep going and try your best, and Workpays can be that beginning step for any individual out there.’’


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