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.


TLS customer service survey results


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. So, we recently surveyed 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.