Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of announcing that Teenage Cancer Trust would be the charity we would support throughout the year. Since then, we have raised £500 for them with our next fundraising event imminent, along with setting up a JustGiving page for those who aren’t able to attend. We invited, Judith from Teenage Cancer Trust to write a blog for us about her role as the Regional Fundraiser and the impact fundraising has on the charity. Take it away Judith…
My name is Judith Anderson and I am the Regional Fundraiser for the East Anglia Region of Teenage Cancer Trust and now in my sixth year with the charity.
I first knew of Teenage Cancer Trust when asked to volunteer and become a committee member for a fun-run called Royston in Blue, in aid of the charity and I soon began to realise how important the charity is. After helping organise the first fun run I knew I wanted to be more involved. In 2012, I applied for an administration job and was appointed. In 2014, I applied for the position of Regional Fundraiser and have never looked back.
Teenage Cancer Trust makes sure young people don’t face cancer alone by helping young people and their families deal with the many ways that cancer can affect your body, your mind and your life. We work in partnership with the NHS, in schools and colleges and by bringing young people together so they can support each other.
The work the charity does varies from day to day, from giving straightforward answers about cancer, the symptoms, treatment or relationships, to delivering specialist nursing care and youth support. It can be helping young people with cancer deal with their worries together, explaining complex medical language, empowering young people in schools or helping young people talk to their employers about what’s going on. But whatever we do, we’re here to make sure young people always have someone to turn to.
The East Anglia region covers Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and parts of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Essex. We have overall responsibility for corporate partnerships, community fundraising, Trusts, education and challenge events. The charity has no statutory funding and therefore relies entirely on voluntary donations to fund our work.
We are still a fairly small charity with one Head Office in London although the fundraisers live in the patch they cover and work from home, which is in Herts. My role as a fundraiser involves creating new fundraising initiatives, raising awareness of the charity, budgeting, stewarding supporters and supporting volunteers.
No single day is ever the same. My particular role wouldn’t be suited for someone who thrives on routine. One day I might be meeting with the managing director of a company, pitching ideas for thousands of pounds of fundraising ideas. The next day I’ll be talking to a young person with cancer and their family on our unit or attending a bake sale, golf days, rotary lunches, schools, festivals, fun runs, challenge events and the list goes on!
Fundraising has a lot to do with marketing, supporter stewardship, and building excellent relationships internally and externally. Enthusiasm, initiative and a “can do” attitude go a long way. The willingness to work evenings and weekends where necessary, lug boxes up and down stairs and help to put up marquees while keeping a sense of humour is really important.
But nothing beats chatting to a supporter and hearing how our work has helped to radically improve the quality of life of a young person. This is the best job I have ever had and find it so humbling and rewarding to work with young people, their families and friends at the most difficult time of their lives.
If you would like to help fundraise, volunteer or choose Teenage Cancer Trust as your charity please contact Judith Anderson 07903 464678 or email Judith.firstname.lastname@example.org