The NFFF is run by fish friers, all of the Directors of the NFFF own fish and chip shop businesses themselves and carry out the work they do on a voluntary basis. However, based in Leeds the NFFF Head Office employs a small team to keep the NFFF functioning.

We will let you get to know the team in a series of ‘meet the team’ conversations in the digital Fish Friers Review.

Sheryl Coward – Membership / Administration Co-ordinator

1.            How long have you been part of the NFFF team?

I joined the NFFF as the Membership & Administration Coordinator in March 2021, so I am very new to the organisation but learning more and more each day!

My previous role was as an Area Administrator within the Mental Health & Social Care sector where I was responsible for introducing and maintaining Best Practices. My work was extremely varied and involved subjects such as Health & Safety, Policies & Procedures, Finance and Human Resources and much more. The primary purpose of my work was oriented towards always ensuring the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and the safety of both employees and service users.

Before moving into the Health and Social Care Sector I worked at Asda Head Office for 6 years as an Administrator within the Risk Management Team before moving into the New Business and Innovations Team where I was Support Coordinator in the rollout of new Business Systems and Processes to over 800 stores.

2.            What roles do you cover?

My primary role at the moment is to maintain and develop membership relations, direct members’ enquiries, to keep our databases up to date, ensure our members have their certificates etc, and to provide reports to the directors. I’m on a steep curve as I learn the ropes but, ultimately, I will be looking for ways to help increase our efficiency and create room for The NFFF to develop, expand and improve services to its membership and to raise the profile of the fish and chip industry more broadly.

3.            What’s it like to work for the NFFF?

So far, hectic! Getting to grips with a new role always is! But I have found a great team that have offered wonderful support to me from day one and they are always there when I need advice or assistance. The NFFF is a very close and welcoming team, and it became obvious very quickly that their passion is for the NFFF and how best to support its members – they will do whatever they can to help and assist during these unprecedented times. I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed as part of this great team!

4.            Who cooked your first fish and chips at the NFFF training academy?

Alas, I have not had that privilege as yet, but I think that its only right that when we do reopen the training academy, I have the opportunity to taste quite a few portions to make up for the delay 😊

5.            What changes have you seen during your time with the NFFF?

Having just joined the team, its too early to say.

6.            Where do you see the NFFF in 10 years?

I believe the NFFF can only grow stronger – how could it not? What we offer is a service that focuses on providing what members need, coupled with a dedication and personal service that the team provides to our members that is second to none. There aren’t many other key organisations that provide direct advice from their own directors! People that have their own businesses to manage, yet willingly give their time to offer support, guidance and speak on behalf of their members. What a wonderful ethos! We will be the first team that people within the Chip Shop sector go to for both advice, support and sometimes just a friendly chat and catch up about the business and we will definitely be the first one popping up on the Google search list!

Now tell us about yourself:

7.            What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

I very much enjoy gardening and I use that as my quiet time. I also love daytrips and weekends away, visiting places of interest up and down the UK, and for the last few years even making an annual cross-country trek to Berlin to visit friends. The last year obviously put a dent in that routine but I hope to make up for it later this year. I enjoy photography and, if and when I find the time, I also love a good book.

8.            What is your first memory of eating fish and chips? 

I have very early memories of eating fish and chips on Friday nights with my brothers and our parents. Friday was payday so that is when we got our favourite tea. I totally blame my parents for the fact that Fish & Chips became my all-time favourite meal!

9.            What is your favourite accompaniment to fish and chips?

Salt & Vinegar with boat loads of scraps!! I also love a chip butty with brown sauce!

10.         Where is your favourite place to eat fish and chips?

Anywhere with a view! If I had to pick one, it would probably be Whitby, at the whale bones, looking out to sea with fish and chips from Quayside on Pier Road…Nom

11.         What is your favourite drink with fish and chips?

It has to be Dandelion and Burdock! These days I wouldn’t think to drink Dandelion and Burdock at any other time, and yet I can’t imagine anything better to complement my fish and chips.