Here is the next installment in our "A Week In The Life Of" series!
Hello! What is your name and where are you from?
Hello, my name is Emma and I'm from Leeds.
Where do you work and what is your job?
I am a Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie.
Please can you tell us a little more about where you work and the industry it is in?
Marie Curie is the leading charity supporting people with terminal illness, death, dying, and bereavement. My job is to manage the fundraising and volunteers in North East Yorkshire specifically and supporting Yorkshire more generally.
What is a typical day like in your job?
A typical day has changed a great deal during the pandemic. Before March, I would be out and about in the community a couple of times a week, meeting volunteers and supporters. I manage a network of about 70 registered volunteers. These people dedicate their time to the charity to help raise money through collections in shops and supermarkets and by holding events. Some volunteers give their time for other things like supporting work in the office or calling supporters. I motivate these volunteers and support them in their work. I also am always looking to recruit new supporters and volunteers. Another large part of my role is to increase awareness about what the charity does and what services are available. To do this I give talks and sessions with groups, in schools, universities and colleges, in libraries and in many other places. I also send press out to local newspapers and engage with tv and radio stations to get interviews.
I would usually spend about half the week at my desk making approaches and talking to supporters. I also look to apply for grants and funds that the charity is eligible for.
We have one large flagship appeal between February and April called the Great Daffodil Appeal. At this time the charity’s profile is at its highest and I organise lots of fundraising activities including collections and lots of press covering this.
Since the pandemic, my typical day has changed significantly. I am now rarely able to go into the community and a lot of our community-based fundraising is on hold. Instead, I am desk-based and working to engage with new supporters and keep in touch with supporters we already have. I am also looking to work with corporates and groups a lot more and looking to apply for any pots of money that are available to community projects like that or the Marie Curie services.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I most enjoy the variety of the job. Usually, there isn’t two days the same! I also love the people. I am always talking to fantastic people many of whom want to help make a difference. The absolute best bit about my job is knowing that I am supporting people and families who really need Marie Curie’s help. I feel very strongly about the need for our services and that makes my job very rewarding.
Did you go to college or university? If so, what did you study and where?
Yes - I studied Human Geography at The University of Leeds
Why did you choose to study this subject/s?
It was always my favourite subject at school and I found it really interesting
Does your degree relate to your job? If so, how?
Not directly. The topics covered in my degree have given me transferable knowledge for my job. I also learned many transferable skills when completing my degree that I carry with me in my day to day role.
How has the COVID-19 lockdown affected your job?
As mentioned above it has really changed my day to day role. It has also changed the sector a great deal. We have a much more challenging time trying to raise the vital funds we need to to keep our services going. It has given some job insecurity as charities are needing to save money every way they can. I have been lucky to work throughout the pandemic and Marie Curie sees Community Fundraisers as an asset to the charity. We are experts in fundraising and that is what the charity needs going forward to rebuild funds.
Please can you tell us about your "Career Journey"?
I did a Study Abroad year during my degree. In my third year, I studied at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. It was an incredible year and taught me a huge amount educationally but also invaluable life skills. I really grew as a person by moving so far away from home. I traveled to many places in this time and experienced how they study over in Australia.
I returned home and completed my fourth and final year at Leeds then I graduated. Following my graduation, I secured a graduate scheme job working for Majestic Wine a wine retailer. Wine was something I’d always had an interest in and this was a brilliant way to enter the world of work. I learned a huge amount about working life and customer service. I worked long hours as it was in the retail sector. I then left this job to work as a New Business Manager for a large fleet company. This was completely office-based and a big change. Whilst I learned a lot in this job it just wasn’t for me. This is when I realised it was time for me to try and get some into the charity sector as this was always what I had wanted to do. I was lucky enough to get the job at Marie Curie and have now been there for 2 years.
What would be your one piece of advice for someone who is looking into the job sector you work in?
Get some volunteering work! It doesn’t need to be loads and can be in any sort of charity but it will give you something to talk about and will show employers what you are like as a person. Volunteering is really rewarding and enjoyable and this will show employers that you’re the right person for the charity sector.