Jonathan Hitch started work with Widd Signs in 2021 and has been a real asset to the company from the moment he stepped in.
Initially taking on the role as Estimator Purchasing, he is now also leading on sustainability, ensuring that Widd Signs are doing the very best to move away from signage being a wasteful industry. He tells us more about life in and outside of Widd Signs.
Your current role: Estimator Purchasing and Sustainability Lead
How long have you worked in this role at Widd?
I have been at Widd Signs for 12 months. Before Widd, I was at printers and before that I was project manager at another signage company. However, I have grown up around the signage industry, both my Mum and Dad worked in this field of work and now my mum heads up a recycling charity so has been an influence in my own interest in sustainability.
In a sentence or two, what does your role involve/what are your main responsibilities?
My role is in estimating and purchasing; I see the majority of jobs going through at any one time across new and existing contracts. My job involves speaking to a lot of people; on any one day I could speak to between 15 and 20 people.
The other part of my role is all around sustainability. I am keen to make Widd Signs as green as possible from a purchasing perspective. For example, our project for Primark in Sheffield using a grey back canvas would usually be manufactured using PVC materials but instead we used only products made from recycled bottles. This is the right step we and all manufacturers need to be taking to focus our approach on sustainability. Luckily it is now much more cost effective to use recycled products than previous times. This month (March) we hope to be removing all PVC from our packaging and instead using 100% recycled materials in everything we do.
What’s your proudest achievement to date (in or outside of work)?
I previously worked on large art and sculpture pieces which I helped to manufacture – it was a great creative project that was really rewarding to see that come together. More recently, becoming Widd’s Sustainability Lead is something that I am very proud of.
What do you enjoy most about working for Widd Signs?
We have a really broad team across both sites and it’s great to be constantly meeting and speaking to new people across both Leeds and St Helens. I enjoy chatting to people, so the sociable aspect of the role really suits me.
What do you enjoy most about living and working in Yorkshire/St. Helens?
I love a visit to my neighbouring suburb of Headingley – it’s a nice area with lots of independent shops and good food. There is also a dairy just 15 mins from Widd Signs Leeds HQ which I love visiting picking up some cheeses from too.
What do you like to do away from work? Any hobbies or skills that you practice? How do you unwind away from work?
I am from Durham, and I am a big Sunderland fan so I like to watch football and support my team when I can. I also enjoy cooking; I trained as a chef after my first job, so I got to learn a lot about food and how to cook well. When I am relaxing, I like to play computer games and build models with Lego. I also play guitar which helps me to unwind when I have time.
If you weren’t working in this industry, what career/profession would you have liked to have gone into?
I would probably be doing something in food development.
Want to know more about Widd’s commitment to sustainability or pick Jonathan’s brains on all things purchasing and estimating? Contact him on Jonathan Hitch email@example.com.