Nell Williams: Solutioneer, social commentator and all-round fountain of knowledge is waiting to solve your problems! Lynda Bowyer
Nell has a familiar face to many, but perhaps knowing her in her new guise will not be a familiar sight to the people of Wokingham. Former Thames Valley Police PCSO Nellie “Nell” Williams hung up her radio and her pocketbook and became what’s known as a “Solutioneer” a few years ago when, after a spate of illness, she re-evaluated her life and how she could do something else with her time instead. So what’s a Solutioneer? What do they do? How do they work? Here’s where it all started for Nell…
As a child, Nell grew up with a Sunday TV diet of Juliet Bravo, All Creatures Great and Small and The Professionals to name but a few. Crime and detective telly ran in her veins. A desire to become a Police Officer was instilled into the young girl from Hurst from an early age, and when she applied for the Police as a young woman, sadly found that at that time she wasn’t tall enough nor her eyesight to standard. Cue a fresh career path for her, and after a study period at secretarial college, a new horizon beckoned in the City working as a PA. Nell’s career furthered and she became a HR Officer and Incentives & Events Organiser for a disaster recovery company. Provincial work later beckoned to Nell and she gradually leaned back to working in the local area; firstly in Wokingham and then in Bracknell. Although Nell didn’t return to work after a period of maternity leave with her eldest child, now 16, the seeds had already been sown in terms of what she would eventually end up doing as a career now.
Nell’s desire to do police work came to fruition in 2006 when she became a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), firstly working in the Norreys before moving over to cover the Winnersh patch. Nell said: “It was whilst working in Winnersh that I came across communities helping each other and finding solutions. I went about door-knocking, school visiting and generally getting to know people in my neighbourhood patch. I spent time visiting the older people in the community too. It was important to visit families and get myself known.”
She then became the Youth Offending Link Officer for Thames Valley Schools and conducted quite a number of School assemblies, primarily about bullying. “I worked on the ABC method”, Nell said: “It’s about attitude, actions, behaviour and consequences. I talked to the kids about their attitude and actions, and the consequences of their behaviour. In essence, I was finding solutions for problems without making the problem any bigger. All the way through my career, from being a PA to now, I’ve been finding solutions to problems. I suppose it’s part of my ‘can do’ positive mental approach to life.”
When asked about what she does now, Nell said: “If I like something, I like to share it. If I know of someone who needs something or is looking for something in particular, I tend to know a lot of people who have skills and experience and I simply put people in touch. I’m not entirely sure how it’s happened, but I’m happy finding solutions for people and making recommendations along the way.”
Nell regularly blogs about her findings and her recommendations; something the people of Wokingham and the surrounding areas grasp with gusto. She is also a regular social commentator on BBC Radio Berkshire and has also appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live. Whether it’s about gardening tips and services, book reviews, independent business promotion, social media and digital engagement, or matching people’s needs with businesses and services who can meet their requirements, Nell is a busy bee who proves the old adage right that if you want something doing, you give the task to a busy person!
Nell’s blog can be found here. Nell is also an active user of Twitter and you can follow her and her musings at @PeacockPomPoms.