PLATF9RM Culture

9 Minutes With - Jessica Samson

It’s likely you’ve seen her walking the hallways of both Tower Point and Hove, usually accompanied by prospective PLATF9RM members. As far as roles go, Community Lead is a significantly impressive game of juggling multiple tasks at any one given moment, and there is no one that does it better and with such verve, than our very own Jessica Samson. We caught up with her to find out a little more about her and just how she does it!

Jess, we normally see you scampering between Tower Point and Hove Town Hall as Community Lead but what are you getting up to?

I’m really lucky and have quite a mix in my job role. I get to spend time with our members, making sure that they’re having a wonderful PLATF9RM experience. I also look after sales, keeping our offices full and bringing more great people into the community. Plus I get to work with The Drop Digital to oversee our social media.

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How long have you been at PLATF9RM, there must be a number of highlights, but what’s been the biggest?

I’ve been at PLATF9RM for 2 years next month! There are more highlights than I can count but for me Hove Town Hall Ground Floor was massive! Watching how people use this entirely new space that has been created and filling it with life has been a delight. It also meant I got to wear high vis for 12 weeks of the build which is my favourite thing.

Now, is there a certain skill one must acquire to be able to remember all the 700 plus members? Or is it a superpower?

I’m not going to lie - 500 names was just about manageable, but the influx we got at Hove when we opened the Ground Floor was the real struggle, I’m just about getting there. I think the trick is to talk to people regularly and make a LOT of cups of tea.

We’ve got quite the eclectic mix of members here at PLATF9RM, don’t worry we won’t ask you to name favourites but what are the top five industries in our member make up?

We do have such a mix! I find it fascinating that you can have a room of people in different fields sat next to each other, bouncing ideas and being supportive. We have a lot of creatives; photographers, graphic designers, writers and another field that you’d sort of expect is tech; developers, web designers, UX designers but I really enjoy that so many different people can utilise the space - electricians, yoga instructors, doctors, clowns — you name it - we’re home to them!

Not many people know that you’re not a thorough bred Brightonian, how did you end up here?

I’m a Yorkshire girl at heart - I came down here to do a degree in Graphic Design and fell in LOVE with Brighton and it’s huge array of pubs, dogs, the sea and the most wonderful people.

Did you always want to go down the route of Graphic Design?

No not at all, I actually didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. I’m a creative person and I love beautiful ‘things’ so going in the Graphic Design direction sort of made sense - didn’t stop me getting cold feet the night before I moved to Brighton and thinking ‘Oh God what am I doing, I want to be a vet’. As it turns out it all led me to the right spot and I feel so lucky to have found a job I adore doing.

You’re known for having quite a distinctive laugh, what’s brought about the biggest laugh since being at PLATF9RM?

Distinctive, ha! I generally find myself the funniest human on the planet. Also, the more I laugh the bigger my laugh gets. The biggest laugh was possibly the time I had a dream about Leanne dressed up as an (angry) carrot for a Harvest Festival and when I saw her and tried to explain it I completely lost the plot.

It’s also no big secret that you’re a dog fanatic, so who’s your favourite PLATF9RM Pup?

Clarence Hillier's the Original PLATF9RM Pup for me, he has stolen my heart in a way I never expected a yappy / sassy / hilarious terrier to. I have a tendency to keep hold of him for days longer than I need to. Good job David (the dog Dad) knows where I live!

Other PLATF9RM Pup Ultimate Babes include Oscar Cornelius belonging to our Sparkly Fairy Queen Amy Brown, Monty who belongs to the legend that is Emma Croman and Kipper - hero dog of Lizzie Hodgson. Also Shelby who Jason Rhahi brought in when she was just weeks old and is now a fully grown well behaved pupper. Oh, but then there’s Benji Lamb’s rescue dog, Amber, who is an extra special clever girl with just 3 legs!


You know what, they’re all just brilliant! Hove’s had some extra dogs join recently and I know our Front of House team over in Brighton have been getting jealous - we have dog treats and so much love to give them! This was NEVER going to be a short answer, was it.

What do you bring to make work wonderful?

We have an incredible team who support and cheerlead each other in every aspect of life - they make everyday fun and being part of a powerhouse of a team really makes it simple to make work wonderful. I’d also like to think I bring an overall constant enthusiasm, it makes my days at PLATF9RM so much more fulfilled knowing that I can help take care of people, from anyone’s very first tour, all the way to their signing up — either in cups of teas, a friendly chat or yes, my often heard “distinctive” laugh.

Thank you so much for answering these. Hopefully we've shone a little light onto the world of Jess and your invaluable role in making things work like clockwork.

9 Minutes With - Leanne Doutré

It's been 2 years since the original team members were tasked with the lionhearted endeavour of bringing PLATF9RM into existence. Since then, our lovely Leanne has metamorphosed from 'Front of House' to 'Operations Manager', all in the meagre space of two earthly cycles. We caught up with Leanne, AKA Queen of Tower Point, to unpack her thoughts on P9 and perhaps dig a little deeper into the mysterious world of managing operations.

Hi Leanne, we know you're the Operations Manager, but what exactly does the life of an Operations Manager entail?

Generally speaking, I deal in the back end of PLATF9RM’s day to day running, occasionally 'epitheted' as a fountain of knowledge and general Guru of our CRM system. I support the team, from community to events as well as helping our finance team who work remotely, as being the man on the ground. I also look into ways to improve the running of the business and member experience simultaneously. It’s a position that requires many hats.


Where were you born? If not in Brighton & Hove, what brought you to this wonderful place?

I’m originally from Worthing which is only 30 mins away so sort of Brighton?(Let’s try and swing it that way). I went to college here but when I finished uni and immediately panicked at having to join the real world of adulting - Brighton was a natural choice to look towards. I’m glad to have always been so close to Brighton, its atmosphere and people as it’s fortunately kept me being sucked into the post graduate London black hole - I’m happy to be finally living bang in the centre, conveniently between our Hove and Brighton sites.

You've been here from the start, what has been your favourite PLATF9RM event to date?

I’m a sucker for the May social as we always descend to The Warren. Having it literally at the bottom of the road this year was ideal. It’s great just to be able to hang around with members, drink in hand. From an operational point of view, it’s great too as there’s not much to do apart from let people relax and enjoy themselves. That and manage the bar tab.

Within the confines of acceptable discourse, what is the most bizarre thing you have witnessed at PLATF9RM?

My birthday present from PLATF9RM last year was a taxiderm'ied' mouse.

If you can possibly imagine some ethereal utopia beyond PLATF9RM as it is today, what improvements would you make?

I’m dying for outside space as I’m a complete glutton for sitting in the sun with a pint. Obviously it would be done in the unique PLATF9RM, but I’m imagining a lot of plants and colours and a sun trap for me to curl up in. And no seagulls. And better weather.

Outside of your job here at PLATF9RM, what is your extracurricular pastime/ hobby/ plan for world domination ?

I’ve gotten far too into my house plants in the last year or so and when I moved a few months ago, I immediately eyed up new spots for them. I’m currently on 13, have a wish list as long as my arm and definitely not enough space to fulfil it.

If you could live anywhere in the world other than Brighton, where would it be?

I used to live in the south of Spain so that’s got a special spot in my heart but I’m pretty chill - I think whereever it would be, it’s got to have water nearby and a toasty climate - then I’m set.

Cats or Dogs? Why?

Unfortunately, I think cats just edge it out for me. I grew up with cats and had a severe dog phobia when I was younger. I’m all for puppy cuddles now (thankfully plentiful in PLATF9RM) but I think cats are ever so slightly the front runners. I think I should have been a cat in a past life, they have the right lifestyle attitude - eat, sleep, be warm, affectionate by choice and mildly annoy those closest to you.

What do you bring to make work wonderful?

Honestly, I don't need to bring much, it's the people - both members and team. The space is amazing, I love the colours and the light in both places, but there is a real sense of community here. I love being able to sit on one of the coworking tables and get chatting to any of the members that pass by for coffee or howling away with the regulars. We do do work, I swear.

Thank you so much for answering these. Hopefully we've shone a little light onto the world of Leanne and your invaluable role in making things work like clockwork.