A day in the life of a community fundraiser

Niki Wardell-Yerburgh

Meet Niki Wardell-Yerburgh, who works as a Community Fundraiser in our charity team. In her ‘day in the life’ diary, Niki gives readers an insight into her busy working day – from planking to planning!

This diary was written in January 2022.

07:40 My fundraising colleagues and I are mainly working from home, however we’re on a weekly rota to make sure there is office cover. Today is my turn to go into the office, so I begin my commute, hoping that the traffic will be kind to me!

08:15 I arrive at the office and get set up for the day. I head to the kitchen to make myself a coffee and then check my emails and write my to-do list.

09:00 This month I have been busy organising and hosting a virtual Plank Challenge fundraiser. The idea is for people to complete a plank every day in January and fundraise for Sobell House. We have a community of 52 people taking part in our Facebook group, who have already raised an incredible £3,000 for the hospice. We started the challenge on 1st January by completing a 20 second plank and by 31st January we all hope to have completed a three minute plank.

Today is day 13 of the challenge, so I post my video to the Facebook group (a 50 second plank, we’re getting there!) and reply to some comments and videos that have been posted overnight. It’s been so lovely getting to know everyone on Team Sobell, and really heartwarming to hear the reasons why people have challenged themselves for Sobell House.

09:30 Our Transport Manager, Ron, has come up to the office with a full collection tin, which one of his drivers has recently collected from a local shop. He asks for an empty collection tin to take back, so I sort this out for him. Collection tins are an easy way for shops, pubs, and cafes to fundraise for us, and we really appreciate everyone who has one on their countertop.

10:00 We have our weekly fundraising team meeting via Zoom. This is a great opportunity to hear what everyone in the team is up to as we don’t see each other very often in-person. As it is our first team meeting of 2022, we each share our goals and plans for the year.

11:30 We have had quite a few fundraisers raising money for us over the Christmas period. From a memorial football match to a 12-hour gaming livestream, it never fails to make me smile reading about the creative ways people have chosen to fundraise for us. It’s really important to me to make sure we thank all of our amazing community fundraisers for their kind support. I write a letter to each fundraiser to thank them and share how their support is making a difference.

13:00 I have my lunch break, and head out on a quick walk around the Churchill Hospital site to get some fresh air. It’s a lovely, sunny day.

13:30 I have received an email from a fundraiser who is running a half marathon for us later in the spring. They have requested a Sobell House t-shirt to run in, so I pop one in the post along with a thank you note for thinking of and supporting us.

13:45 It’s my turn to open the post, ready for our Supporter Care team to process the donations. In today’s post, we receive a lovely thank you card and donation from a family who have recently been bereaved. We also receive a cheque from a younger supporter who has raised money by hosting a bake sale. I make sure the relevant people know that we have received the donations, so they can send a thank you letter.

14:15 I receive a telephone call from a gentleman who would like to raise money in memory of his nan. He tells me a little about his nan, and we chat about a few fundraising ideas. He likes the idea of a charity football match or a sponsored walk, so I tell him how to set up a fundraising page and that we can supply him with branded balloons, banners and collection tins if he needs them. He’s going to go away and have a think about it and will get back in touch when he’s made a decision.

14:30 We have our annual Winter Walk coming up in March at Blenheim Palace, which I am helping to organise with Tim who is our Corporate Partnerships Manager. I have been asked to contact all of our event volunteers to see if they would be available to help on the day. We are so lucky to have such an amazing group of event volunteers, as without them we really wouldn’t be able to host our events. I send out an email to everyone on my list and wait for a response. I also contact a few companies about providing refreshments at the event.

15:15 I need to visit one of our shops to drop off a new tap-to-donate card machine and explain how it works. It’s an easy way for customers to make a quick donation while on the go. I also gather together some of our branded balloons and banners to drop off to a supporter who is hosting a charity football match.

16:30 After my two visits, I start my commute home. I have been working at Sobell House for two and a half years now, and it really is my dream job. I love working on the fundraising team, and especially love meeting our fabulous community fundraisers and hearing all about their fundraising. It’s so special to be a part of their journey and support them in reaching their goals.

If you would like to speak to Niki about fundraising for Sobell House, please do get in touch with her on 01865 857067 or mail@sobellhospice.org.