I’ve worked in fundraising and marketing for charities for over 15 years and I love seeing the passion and commitment of supporters turn into the funds that charities need to make a difference. I joined BBC Children in Need in 1999 as Marketing Manager, working on the brand communications, marketing and fundraising for three annual appeals (and getting to meet Pudsey Bear of course!). In 2002 I joined Cancer Research UK, holding a variety of senior roles in Community and Corporate Fundraising for six years.
I arrived at Teenage Cancer Trust in 2009 as Head of Regional Fundraising, developing a regional fundraising operation that now delivers over half the organisation’s annual income and became Director of Fundraising in 2013. Our team of fundraisers have worked with our supporters to grow our income to over £13million, and I’m currently leading our ambitious but much needed growth strategy so we can raise the income we need to support all the young people who need us.
All of my fundraising and marketing roles have been within organisations that are focussed on either cancer or young people, so my current role brings all of this together.
My role is to lead our fundraising, marketing and communications activity so that our supporters are inspired to raise or give as much money as possible – and to have a great time while they support us. I am also responsible for how we communicate as a charity and to make sure that our message gets out there so that we can support all of the young people and families who need us.
From the first visit I made to a unit - when I showed up at 10am and no-one was awake because young people are allowed to lie in and don’t have to keep hospital hours - I knew I was somewhere that put young people first. I’m enormously proud of what we are able to do for young people as a result of the funds our supporters raise and donate – we couldn’t make anything happen without our supporters, they are the people who make our work possible.
Teenage Cancer Trust and me
Whenever I meet someone we’ve helped or someone who has helped us I am reminded why what we do is so important. Last year I joined our supporters and took part in a Mud Run to raise funds - my biggest challenge at Teenage Cancer Trust so far. There were bruises and more mud than you can imagine, but the support that so many people gave – along with people going up to my family to tell them the difference that Teenage Cancer Trust had made to the life of someone they knew - was all the motivation I needed to commit to doing it again this year.
Teenage Cancer Trust is a remarkable place to work. Everyone I work with puts the young people we help first when making decisions about what we should or shouldn’t do and that makes an enormous difference - it means politics have no place here, we’re one team. I’ve been here five years and I’m as happy to be here as I was when I was new to the charity. It is a place where things constantly feel fresh and we’re always making progress.
When I was a teenager I was quirky, gawky, studious and keen to be an adult. I used to want to be Wonder Woman when I grew up (it was the gold bangles and invisible plane) but for much of my teens I wanted to be a lawyer. I’m glad I’m neither (although I’m still on the lookout for an invisible plane). I love what I do at Teenage Cancer Trust.