Kay Buxton, BID Chief Executive and Executive Director of Paddington Partnership
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are highlighting the work of women who are active in the community in and around Paddington Central and are an inspiration to others.
Meet Kay Buxton, the BID Chief Executive and Executive Director of the Paddington Partnership. The Paddington Partnership works with local partners, stakeholders and companies to ensure that London's fastest-growing and most dynamic location meets the needs of businesses, visitors and the local community – today and in the future. Kay has been an integral part of this for the last 20 years.
What's your name and what do you do?
I'm Kay Buxton and I head the Paddington Partnership and also look after the area's nearby Business Improvement Districts.
Would you have considered yourself a role model for Women of Paddington?
How do other women inspire you in your work?
I have some amazing women in my team who have tonnes of energy and some amazing ideas. Their positive outlook and cheeriness in the office creates a warm, supportive climate.
What inspired you to pursue your career?
I'm a chartered planner by training and took this role after leading Westminster City Council on the regeneration of Paddington.
How do you maintain a health work-life balance?
I have a policy of no more than three school nights out in a week that are work-related. I started running a few months ago, something that I never thought I would be able to do. I'm working up to 10K now. I walk a lot every day, as most of my meetings tend to be in the Paddington area.
What have you found to be the most rewarding aspects of your career?
In my role I can have an idea and make it happen. I manage three small companies and we pool resources between them. This means we can be agile and respond to new ideas very quickly. I love seeing my ideas come to fruition.
What does the term Paddington Community mean to you?
This is really about how people feel about the location, both from the inside and the outside. One of the very first priorities for the Partnership was to make sure Paddington wasn't an island. To make sure it was connected socially as well as physically to its surroundings. We work hard to connect the people who invest and work here with the schools, charities and communities on our doorsteps, through volunteering as well as engaging them in our events and initiatives.
How long have you been part of the Paddington community?
This is my 20th year.
What have been the major changes that you've seen at Paddington in your time?
The canal has come to life in the last five years, with restaurants, trip boats, cafes, paddle boards and canoes now offering viable leisure options not just for the people who live and work here but for visitors too.
How do you feel Paddington has allowed you to connect with the community?
Through our Community Programme we place over 800 employee volunteers each year with more than 30 schools, charities and social enterprises in the area. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the impact volunteers can have and the positive impact on the volunteers themselves.
What do you feel that the Paddington Community can offer to women?
Paddington is home to some amazing employers, with some of the world's biggest household names. It's a great place for men and women to work. As a location Paddington is so easy to commute into, with the Heathrow Express and Elizabeth Line anyone can work here.
How important do you feel the further development of Paddington Central is to the community?
The next phase of Paddington Central sees more ground floor space being occupied, with cafes and restaurants providing social space for workers, residents and community alike.
What advice would you give to your younger self when first starting your career?
Everything happens for a reason. It's often possible to turn a bad outcome into something more positive further down the line.
What do you think the definition of a Woman of Paddington is?
Paddington has an amazing community of people and such a rich heritage. I don't think there is a single defining woman of Paddington.
What can other Women of Paddington do to make a positive impact to our community?
We welcome women working here: they will inspire the next generation of women to choose to work in Paddington. Volunteering to talk about their career paths, what their jobs are like, the choices they have made, raising aspirations and acting as role models in the community for young Paddington women.
How are you celebrating International Women's Day this year?
I am attending a gala dinner to celebrate the opening night of the Marylebone Food Festival.
Over 10 separate development schemes across 80 acres make up Paddington, with a development period spanning more than 20 years. It is a complicated location and the reason why the Partnership focuses on the issues affecting Paddington on behalf of its partners and acts as the front door for enquiries. To find out more about their work, please visit their website.