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Cheryl Vallis-Horn - Security Officer

It’s important that everyone feels safe and secure on all our campuses at NTU, our Security Officers are vital in making this happen. Cheryl and her team work hard all year round - no two days are ever the same.

No one at NTU is any more privileged or special than the next. You feel like you’re on a level playing field.

I worked for Student Accommodations, University Partnership Programme (UPP) before I joined NTU in 2018. I appreciate the job security my position at NTU gives me and enjoy working in a customer service role, as well as working with students.

My job is mainly customer service focused, but I’m also responsible for all security and welfare matters, to help maintain a safe and secure environment for all students, academics and visitors to the university, which includes all three university campuses. I work in a team of eight officers who work on shifts (there are four separate shifts). We cover all campuses 24/7, 365 days a year for the safety and security of all buildings, staff and students.

NTU provides an extremely competitive salary for a security officer position. Those in the department are from all walks of life, with varying degrees of experiences and expertise – from private sector security guards, retail, ex-military, senior police officers and other government services.  We literally do come in all shapes and sizes. We all bring something different to our roles and the department.

My department has been supportive in changing my working patterns based on my feedback, which I really appreciate. I have been able to change shifts where I can now work alongside my wife Tracey, who is also a Security Officer. Now we both work side-by-side on the same shift, which means we can get to take our rest days off together, giving us a better work-life-balance.

My favourite thing about my role is that no two days or shifts are ever the same.

My wife and I have assisted with graduation for the past three years. I thoroughly enjoy doing this and look forward to it every year. We work at both the undergraduate graduation ceremonies in the summer and postgraduate graduation ceremonies in the winter.

I’ve also volunteered to assist our Sustainability Group in filming the wildlife around both Clifton and City Campuses. Only this year, as a result of my wildlife CCTV coverage, we discovered two urban badger sets at our City Campus that the Nottingham Wildlife Trust never knew existed. The location is now a secret and one that is constantly under review by myself and ecologists. I also discovered we had deer at Clifton Campus, who make regular visits to all parts of the campus, but sadly only when those areas are clear of people.

My favourite things about working at NTU are that I have always enjoyed working with students, I like that the fact that no two days/shifts are ever the same and that I’m in an ever-ready proactive role. I find it fascinating how one minute you can be having a deep and insightful  conversation with a lecturer and then the next, I can be advising a student regarding their behaviour, or helping a concerned parent contact their child who is a student at NTU and may have forgotten to phone home.

I love the diversity of all staff and students and the fact that one feels on a level playing field with all departments and all students. No one person is any more special or privileged than the next – this makes NTU special.