I began working for the hospice two years ago as a business fundraiser on a part-time, six month contract. I had been looking for something different to do in my career and having experienced the support of healthcare networks in my family life, I was prompted to apply to work at St Elizabeth Hospice.
When my father-in-law died nine years ago, I was impressed by how helpful the clear, honest advice, given to us by a nurse who had worked at the hospice, was for both my wife and mother-in-law. It helped us to make crucial decisions which we might not otherwise have made.
My role changed into being a partnerships fundraiser in a specific postcode area so I now work in partnership with businesses and the community, in Ipswich as well as up to and including Framlingham and Halesworth.
With businesses, I work on the Charity of the Year programme when companies have selected St Elizabeth Hospice for whom to raise funds. I support their fundraising activities throughout the year, helping arrange events, providing advice, collecting money and sometimes judging competitions like Bake-offs where I am charged to eat cake – sometimes lots of cake!
Some larger companies have their own corporate social responsibility representative who is specifically in charge of charity events, in which case I liaise with them and help them with their promotional work. I, along with other fundraising colleagues, offer hospice tours for businesses so they can become more aware of what the hospice does. I also arrange regular cheque presentations from the companies to the hospice.
Other business initiatives includes St Elizabeth Hospice Pillars of the Community, where companies pledge to raise £2,500 for the bronze award and £5,000 for the silver award and it’s my job again, to support their fundraising in whatever ways we can during that year. There is quite a lot of work involved in keeping all the companies focused and working towards their targets.
My community role covers working with individuals who want to raise money for us because they or their loved ones have received such good quality care from St Elizabeth Hospice. I recently helped with an ‘It’s a knockout’ competition in the summer by a woman whose father was looked after by our hospice at home service. She raised over £8,000 and intends to run it again next year. There are many examples of supporters who raise impressive amounts through quizzes, tea-parties, discos and other small events every year.
We fundraisers also support and promote all the hospice-run events like the Hospice Team 100 London to Paris cycle ride, the Midnight Walk and the Christmas Day Dip. We also give talks and presentations to community groups, such as the Women’s Institute about the history of St Elizabeth Hospice and its role today.
What I really enjoy about my job is the positive feedback from families in respect of the care they receive from the hospice and the opportunities I get to meet such a variety of really nice people. It’s a very rewarding job with a good mixture of business and community input. The fundraising team is an extremely supportive group of people which makes working here so enjoyable.