Spotlight On: Lindsay Barker, Director, Avid Climbing
Lindsay found herself in Local Government at the age of 24, more by accident than design.
Having taken a job as a Customer Service Adviser with Suffolk County Council to fill in until her teacher training course was due to start, she never left. She loved her career in public service and worked her way up to Deputy Chief Executive at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils before deciding to take the plunge and invest in a new indoor climbing wall business. Many of her former colleagues are still shocked at this change in direction after 24 years in public service. But, having worked on everything from elections and planning, to designing communities and delivering new social housing, as well as campaigning to try to get more investment in her home town, Ipswich, Lindsay decided it was time to not just talk about doing things, but take the plunge and act!
Lindsay is a single mum to two children and sees being a parent as one of the greatest challenges and pleasures of her life. She started climbing with her son as it was an activity they could do together, rather than her sitting on the sidelines as a spectator. They had a great time learning and spending time together away from the everyday distractions of their lives. So much so that Lindsay now climbs with both her children and loves watching their progression and confidence.
Describe yourself in three words? Optimistic, energetic, resilient
What was your first job? I did a paper round for one-week age 14 so does that count? Then when I was 15, I got a job working in the Accounts Office at Carr St Co-op on Saturdays and school holidays
What frustrates you? Negativity – I tend to look for the positives in life
How do you spend your leisure time? I love road cycling – it’s my release and I do a charity ride every year to keep me focussed, Obviously I climb, do yoga and dance!
What’s your favourite television programme? Friends
What’s your favourite food? Anything with halloumi in it!
What food do you hate? Marzipan
What is your biggest weakness? Cycling gear
Where are you happiest? I can be anywhere if I’m with my children, family and friends
What was the first record you bought? Bat out of Hell
At school, what were you good at? English and sport
What one material thing could you not do without? My hair straighteners
You’d go to a fancy-dress party as? Annie Lennox
What poster did you have on your bedroom wall as a child? David Cassidy
How many attempts before you passed your driving test? First time!