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Ever wanted to know the Capacity gang a bit better? Well, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the second edition of our new series ‘5 Minutes With’.

Each month we’ll be sitting down with a member of the team here at Capacity, spending 5 minutes asking them some of our burning questions. We’ll find out everything from why they joined Capacity to what inspires them most to who’d play them in a biopic about their life. 

This month, we sat down with Harriet Ballantine-Thomas, who joined the team back in April as Senior Development Manager.


Hi Harriet! Last month we spent time getting to know Sam Thorley (Director of Yonder) a bit better, and he nominated you for this month’s ‘5 Minutes With’. We like to start with the basics. So, can you tell us about how you came to join the Capacity team?


I’m the newest member of the team – I joined in April, but then went on holiday to California for two weeks so I’d say I properly started in May. Before that I’d been training and working as a social worker with children and families for a few years. I loved working in frontline practice, but it was a very tough time working in services so I wanted to use my skills in a different way. I’d previously worked at an organisation that was quite similar to Capacity based in London, and was drawn to Capacity’s values  around being action-orientated and authentic.

Since you’re new to Capacity, what are you most looking forward to in your role?

I’m pretty new to the North West, so I’m excited to get to know new people and organisations in the region.

Okay, now for some rapid fire questions. What three words best describe you?

Candid, determined and thoughtful.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” – easier said than done, though!

What inspires you?

When people are really passionate about something, whatever it is, I feel very inspired – even if I don’t share that interest! I think it’s wonderful to care so deeply about things.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

I’d love to be able to talk to animals. Particularly my cat Beverley.

What’s one thing you wish you’d known when you were younger?

Listen to your instincts (and your parents)!

If you had a magic wand, what’s the one thing you’d fix?

That’s a hard question. I think I’d probably want to fix the housing crisis, to get people out of unsuitable or temporary accommodation. Having a stable and safe home is so important for everything else in our lives.

I know you’re pretty new to the North West, do you have a favourite place in the Liverpool City Region yet?

Sefton Park – especially at this time of year, with everything in bloom and the sun (sometimes) shining. I feel very lucky to live in a city with so much green space.

What’s one thing on your bucket list that you want to tick off this year?

I spent two weeks in California earlier this year, so that’s enough for now!

Who’d play you in a biopic about your life?

Maggie Smith. I hope to have that much gravitas when I’m older.

What’s a skill you’re working on mastering?

I have a love/hate relationship with running but I would like to get better at it.

What are you most excited about in life right now?

My childhood best friend is expecting her first baby in July. We’ve been friends since we were 11 so these big milestones are really special!

Thanks Harriet, great answers! One last question – who should we spend 5 minutes with next month?

I nominate you (Sophie Kervin)!

Fancy joining the Capacity gang? We’re always on the lookout for amazing people to join us. View our latest vacancies here.