Meet the team - Naveeda Mahmod

Meet the Team: Naveeda Mahmood, Intepreter

 

Every month, we introduce you to one of The Language Shop team. This month, meet Naveeda Mahmood, one of our interpreters who works in Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi and English. Find out about how she got to grips with Zoom over lockdown and her passion for baking!

What’s been your favourite project at tls?

As an interpreter I enjoy interacting with people generally, but on a personal level I have learnt tremendously from the talking therapies and physiotherapy.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

Covid and all the changes it brought with it. All the technology, like Zoom, was new to me. Working from home, staying put and interacting with people only on the phone was a challenge.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?

I would have been a teacher in adult education, teaching either English or cookery (baking preferably).

Tell us something interesting about you

I love baking and trying new recipes. I try new dishes all the time and have taken courses in baking and cake decorating.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet our prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was the perfect human being, he preached Allah's message (the Quran) to humanity. He set an example for us all.

What are your ambitions for 2021?

I would like to complete my Interpreting level 4 course. Also I would like to do a course in cupping.

Say hello to Naveeda on The Language Shop's social media – we are on FacebookTwitter and LinkedInKeep up to date with all our latest news here.


Meet the Team: Ratnam Ratneswaran, Tamil Interpreter

Every month, we introduce you to one of our team. This month, meet Ratnam Ratneswaran, one of our interpreters working between Tamil and English. Find out about his enthusiasm for communicating with people and why he'd still be an interpreter even if he won the lottery!

What do you do for tls?

I have been working as a Tamil and English interpreter since 2017. Before Covid I worked face-to-face, but I have worked remotely during the pandemic.

What’s been your favourite project at tls?

I love all of it! I really enjoy talking to people; after living in four different countries and working in four different fields, I would say that I’ve finally landed a job that I really love. I like meeting people and putting them at ease – for example, I always adapt my dialect to match the service user, to make them as comfortable as possible. I’m looking forward to working face-to-face again.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

When I first started in the job, I had been away from my community for such a long time. I started working at Barts [hospital], and seeing first-hand the domestic violence, mental health problems and abuse happening in my community was really hard.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?

Even if I won the lottery, I would still be an interpreter! Before this, I was an insurance broker. As I progressed up the ladder I had less and less contact with people, and I didn’t like it. When my wife’s work needed a Tamil-speaking health advocate, I thought I would give it a go for six months. And here I am!

Tell us something interesting about you

I was once the only passenger on a commercial flight! It was Christmas 1983 and I was flying to Zurich. When I realised it was only me on the plane, I asked if I could go into the cockpit with the pilot. They let me in there until it was time to land. And when I disembarked, I got given all the chocolate that they would have handed out!

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I wish I could have met former US President John F Kennedy. I really admire him: he was the youngest elected US president at 43, he stood up to the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis, navigated the Civil Rights Movement and took on the US mafia.

Say hello to Ratnam on social media – we are on FacebookTwitter and LinkedInKeep up to date with all our latest news here.

 


Meet the Team: Suppalak Bird, Thai Interpreter

We caught up with one of our Thai interpreters, Suppalak Bird, to find out about the most rewarding parts of her job and her passion for vintage clothes.

What do you do for tls?
I’m a freelance Thai interpreter.

What’s been your favourite project at tls?
I worked with therapists and psychologists who were helping a trafficked Thai woman who felt suicidal. The sessions were done via Zoom during the pandemic. It was a very challenging and sensitive case. In the end, all the hard work from everyone involved, including the Thai client, paid off. It was so rewarding to see how her life has changed remarkably.

What’s been the biggest challenge?
To stay focussed at all times when working with emotional and crying clients who have experienced trauma and to translate accurately using the clients’ own words (even though they might not make sense to me sometimes).

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?
Start a small business designing and making 60’s style vintage dresses.

Tell us something interesting about you
I love vintage clothes, techno music and travelling to exotic places. I have recently decided to challenge myself (as a complete beginner) by running a half-marathon for a cancer charity at the beginning of October.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
It would be an honour to meet H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (of the Kingdom of Thailand) to show my gratitude for all of the work she’s done for the Thai people throughout her life and to ask her if I could be of any help in any of her projects.

What are your ambitions for the rest of 2021?
I want to learn how to sew and make clothes and to continue working as an interpreter. I also want to be able to travel more.

Say hello to Suppalak on social media - we are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep up to date with all our latest news here.


Meet the Team: Peta Moore, TLS Service Coordinator

Every month we like to give you an insight into a member of the tls team. We recently sat down with our Service Coordinator, Peta Moore, to discuss hidden talents in music, karate and car mechanics, and a love of horror films.

What do you do for tls?
I joined tls in June 2018 as part of the Quality Assurance team for the MOJ (Ministry of Justice) side of the business. As of January 2021, I moved over to the ops team. I am also part of the ‘fun squad’, we take turns to create quizzes, riddles and other fun team activities for our weekly team meetings.

What’s been your favourite project at tls?
Before I changed teams I was involved in a recruitment drive for new assessors up and down the country for the QA team. That was fun as I had never done recruitment before, I learnt so much.

What’s been the biggest challenge?
Honestly – COVID. So much changed in such a short space of time, both at work and at home, but it’s all become second nature now. I love a challenge though so I adapted quickly.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?
My dream as a teenager was to join the Royal Marines Band Service as a drummer/bugler. I auditioned when I was 18 but was unsuccessful at the time. Apart from that – I reckon I would be a mechanic.

Tell us something interesting about you
I am a black belt 2nd dan in Shotokan Karate and have been training since I was eight. I can play guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, bugle and military snare drum. I have recently joined Dagenham and Redbridge Women’s football team as a goalkeeper. I am also a qualified car mechanic.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Wes Craven. A weird one but I am a huge horror fan and I’ve always wanted to write my own stories. He was known as the ‘Master of Horror’ as the creator of franchises such as Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, so I would have loved to get some writing/creative tips from him!

What are your ambitions for the rest of 2021?
I have grown so much as a person since January 2020 – I think I would like to continue on this path of self-discovery and find myself again.

Say hello to Peta on social media - we are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep up to date with all our latest news here.


Sign in a clinic with information about Covid-19 vaccination programme

The Language Shop provides interpreting services for Covid-19 vaccination centres

Sign in a clinic with information about Covid-19 vaccination programme

Back in February TLS launched a scheme to support vaccination centres within the North East London Foundation Trust area, We provided telephone and video interpreting services to bridge the communication gap so that non-English speakers could understand all of the information regarding Covid-19 vaccinations and give their informed consent to receive the jab.

We expanded this by adding British Sign Language (BSL) support to our offering in May. This allowed deaf patients receiving vaccines at centres in Chingford, Romford and Barking access to a remote BSL interpreter who could answer any questions or concerns they may have. As time is critical when vaccinating so many people, we ensured deaf patients received this support within 90 seconds of making the request.

We are proud to be able to play a part in helping the vaccination programme by making vaccine information more accessible, so that everyone can help keep themselves and each other safe during the pandemic.

Keep up to date with all our latest news here and on social media  – we are on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn


girl-doing-written-assessment

TLS customer service survey results

customer service survey - girl doing written assessment at laptop

At your service

At tls, customer service is a priority. In some cases, interpreting is taking place in life-or-death situations and a mistranslated word can be catastrophic to the health, wellbeing or freedom of the patient/defendant/client. We recently conducted a customer service survey with more than 200 customers to get their feedback on the service they received. The results were outstanding.

Here are some of the headlines:

  • 85% found booking a remote interpreter ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’
  • 80% found tls telephone and video interpreters to be ‘very high quality’ or ‘high quality’
  • 97% of bookers would recommend tls remote interpreting to colleagues or friends
  • 97% of bookers said they would recommend tls face-to-face interpreters to a colleague or friend
  • 92% found booking a face-to-face interpreter ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’
  • 86% found tls face-to-face interpreters to provide ‘very high quality’ or ‘high quality’ language support

“They do an amazing job! Ours is a multidisciplinary team and often our work involves crisis work and interpreters are needed at short notice. They always respond politely and efficiently and offer advice. This helps me as a booker to understand the options and advise my team accordingly. I really value working with this team and strongly recommend this service continues in the long-term future, both with face to face and virtual services.”

Westminster Homelessness Team CNWL NHS Trust

 

 


COVID vaccines for TLS interpreters

Defence on the frontline

Many of our customers work in local authorities or NHS trusts in London. During the current pandemic, it is vital our staff and customers remain safe. At the beginning of January our interpreters were classified as key workers and within four days all 400+ of our London based team were offered the coronavirus vaccine by our NHS partners. Our sincere thanks to them.


TLS continues to innovate during lockdown

Essential data for the NHS

Because lockdown restrictions around COVID are preventing us from issuing essential paperwork manually, tls has created a digital timesheet for our professional clients. We can ensure it is delivered directly to the doctor, social worker or physiotherapist, and doesn’t get lost in the admin system. It also asks for feedback on the service they have received with tls's telephone and online services, allowing us to collect a much wider range of feedback direct from professionals. This not only provides greater insight into how we can improve our services to customers, but also offers invaluable help to the NHS in its evaluation of new technology to deliver services during the pandemic, a key objective for the NHS this year.