Co-owner close-up, Anita Mistry

Anita Mistry is an executive in the client services team and the first person at Castlefield that many clients and enquirers will speak to. In this Co-owner close-up, we learn more about Castlefield's receptionist and her passion for craft.

I joined Castlefield during the last Coronavirus lockdown, as I remember I'd been into the office to collect my laptop and then for the first few weeks of joining I was working at home. During the interview stage, I spoke to Zhanna (in People and Training) and we got on straight away. I knew I really wanted to work here after that.

At the start of 2022 I joined Castlefield from The Christie NHS Foundation, where I'd been a supervisor on the switchboard. As you can imagine, it was quite a challenging and sometimes frenetic environment to work in. There were some major medical incidents happening frequently. On one occasion, when the communication systems were down, we had to try and get the cardiac arrest team on to a ward as quickly as we could; it was real 'life or death' situations. It taught me the value of communicating clearly and remaining calm under pressure - we sometimes used to say we were like a swan swimming calmly on top of the water, while kicking frantically underneath.

But it was this experience that gave me confidence that I'd be suitable for the Castlefield role, as I knew I'd be able to handle any challenges that came my way.

Since joining it's been different every day. It's a really varied role. Alongside some of the general office duties I've been the person responsible for the postal communications, in and out of the business, along with being the main point of contact for all phone calls in to the different Castlefield businesses. I've worked in busy hospitals and at a global law firm previously, but it took a little bit of time to understand the Castlefield way, as I don't come from a financial services background and the different areas of the company are all quite different and distinct. I'm based at the head office in the centre of Manchester, so I also meet and greet visitors when they visit the office - making sure the meeting rooms are set-up correctly and managing any catering requirements. It also means I get to speak to everyone in the company at some point, and meet many of our clients, which I really enjoy.

It's unlike anywhere I've ever worked before - at some times it feels like I've never actually worked anywhere else!

As a values-based organisation, we like to do things ethically so we always try to use local and sustainable suppliers. We recently trialled a few different catering suppliers, as there are a number of vegan co-owners and a few with strict dietary requirements; it's been a really interesting project.

Outside of Castlefield I enjoy travelling and baking. I'm also something of a mixed media artist and started my own business as a jewellery designer. I enjoy creating things using discarded or recycled items - for example one of the earring designs used some old dominos that had been painted and sealed.

A couple of my designs were chosen to be published in a specialist Beading magazine and I recently created some handmade glass earrings and matching bracelet for a co-owner's special birthday! My dad was a clockmaker and helped fuel my passion when I was younger. I also used to volunteer at the Rochdale MIND charity, where I would run jewellery-making workshops to help people with their mental health.

[Fellow co-owners also enjoy Anita's baking - she has created everything from scrumptious cookies and cakes, to a vegan-friendly cheesecake]

I really enjoy working at Castlefield. It's true what they say: it's the people that make it - and I haven't felt as home working anywhere else as I do here. It's unlike anywhere I've ever worked before - at some times it feels like I've never actually worked anywhere else!

Interview with Anita Mistry


You can find Anita's artworks and jewellery designs on instagram (@itsamistry1), Facebook (Itsamistry Design Studio) and Twitter (@Anita_Mistry).