As the first engineer in Barclays Eagle Labs, I am part of an initiative within the High Street bank focused on providing communities with access to digital fabrication and the digital skills to thrive. After 19 years in primary education, in a range of roles from classteacher through to Head, I was ready for new challenges and to regain my own enthusiasm for learning.

I joined Barclays on a temporary contract. I was immediately taken with the opportunities to learn new things and the digital culture across the global business. Moving into a permanent subject matter expert role, I was able to influence improving processes and became involved in facilitating training for colleagues. Alongside my day job in customer services I became a volunteer Digital Eagle and took my first steps in learning to code, building my first app 9 months later, which was used by 1600 colleagues. This involvement led to a secondment to Strategic Transformation, a small team committed to changing the face of Personal and Corporate Banking. I was responsible for leveraging connections in the community to raise awareness of Eagle Labs, and providing a programme of events to engage potential clients.

The labs network has flourished from the two launched in December 2015 to eighteen sites. Following basic maker training in Fab Lab London, I have grown into a lab engineer; confident in facilitating and supporting individuals and businesses in product development and rapid prototyping. With a commitment to digital empowerment I host maker and innovation workshops with local schools, colleges and youth groups, aiming to inspire our next generation of engineers. The labs offering is constantly evolving and I am relishing the opportunity to influence this. As an established member of the team I am able to offer my expertise to newer sites, sharing best practise and engineering solutions to create everything our clients can imagine.