IGHI people: Meet Lily Roberts, Teaching Fellow, NHS Digital Academy

IGHI is home to a team of staff who are skilled and passionate about their roles. Our talented people are the reason we’re able to tackle some of the most pressing global health challenges through cutting-edge innovation.

We’re giving you the chance to get to know our staff a little better and learn about what motivates them in their roles, who inspires them and what they like to get up to outside of IGHI.

Meet Lily Roberts, a teaching fellow at the NHS Digital Academy. Learn more about her role and how Lily supports the next generation of digital leaders in health.

What does your role involve? 

There are several facets to my role. Predominantly, I am the first point of contact for participants of the year-long NHS Digital Academy (NHSDA) PGDip programme and advocate for optimum student experience. I provide participants mostly with technical, academic, or pastoral support. I enjoy the latter the most as it allows me to connect with individuals on a personal level, and understand the barriers to their engagement and how I can support them further.

Throughout the year I collaborate with the wider team to make improvements to the programme based on participant feedback which we collect for each module. We also assess the participants many times throughout the year. I am in charge of coordinating the marking teams and, more often than not, I get involved with marking myself.

How would your colleagues describe you in three words? 

My NHSDA colleagues would maybe say something like responsive, organised and kind. Whereas those in my office might say bonkers and surprisingly sassy!

What’s your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional? 

It feels like a lifetime ago, but I was taught to play both piano and organ by my very talented late granny from age seven, and at 14, I achieved a Grade 8 Distinction in both. I have dark memories of being made to practise every day to earn my pocket money and the adoration of my granny. Somehow, I still enjoy playing (and love my granny) today. My favourites for the piano are Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata and Chopin’s Nocturnes.

Who inspires you? 

I find certain traits of the people around me inspirational; my older sister Florence is a police officer and I think she’s really brave (and crazy). My granny can reel off hours of stories from years and years ago and I’m always in awe of that (how much of it is true we will never know!).

My partner inspires me to be confident in myself and to invest in stocks (he’s an accountant – previously I would have said Bitcoin, but that word is banned from our house). And working at IGHI I am inspired every day by my incredibly clever colleagues who are always producing really interesting work.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? 

Probably teleportation? I really miss my family and friends over in New Zealand and would love to be able to head over for a weekend here and there, pop into my favourite cafes, go for a swim at the beach, visit the New Zealand sheep. I’d then teleport straight back to our office in St Mary’s Hospital on Monday at 9 am with some Whittakers chocolate for my colleagues.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I have quite a few! I enjoy true crime podcasts. I haven’t yet found one which matches the perfection of Serial, Season One but I’m a loyal listener of My Favourite Murder and All Killa No Filla. I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Much to my delight I’ve found apple crumble can be adapted to a relatively wholesome breakfast choice. I’ve also got a slight addiction to buying activewear. I’m one of those people who wears activewear even when they’re not exercising, but you never know when you’ll need to run from something (I clearly listen to too many true crime podcasts!).

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