Maddie Ball, Fundraiser
08:15 Arrive at work early due to the lack of traffic (thanks school holidays!)
08:20 Log on and check my emails, then log on to our Facebook and Twitter pages and check the notifications that have come through overnight. I manage our social media pages, and it’s definitely one of my favourite things about my job. Being able to pass on the lovely comments our supporters make about Sobell staff is really rewarding.
08:45 Meet Craig in reception, who took part in our Light the Night 10-mile walk and came 1st! He’s bringing in his sponsorship money. I’m pleased to hear that he’s considering taking part in a cycling challenge event next year and fundraising for Sobell House. I ask him why he’s chosen to support Sobell House, and he tells me that he has no direct connection to the hospice, but he wants to support a Charity local to him. I’ve been working at Sobell House for a year now, but I still find it so amazing how much support we get from our local community.
09:00 Back at my desk to reply to emails and check our main Charity email inbox. A supporter calls hoping to make a donation in memory of her Dad, David, who was cared for on our ward recently. She said he really enjoyed a glass of red wine from our drinks trolley in the afternoon. The drinks trolley is often fondly remembered! I take the donation over the phone and thank her for her support.
09:30 We have two volunteers who help out on a Tuesday in the Charity office. Sue is the first to arrive, so we have a quick chat before I give her some tasks for the day. Our volunteers are a key part of our fundraising team – we have seven who come in throughout the week. Sue is going to get started on counting the money from some collection cans we’ve had dropped back to us this week. We’re very lucky to have support from lots of local shops, cafes, pubs and businesses who have a Sobell House collection can on display.
10:00 Log onto JustGiving to download our weekly payment report. This week, nearly £8,000 has been donated to fundraising pages set up in aid of Sobell House! I get to work processing the donations on our database, and send out lots of thank yous!
10:15 Our second volunteer, Brian, arrives. I make him a cup of tea and he tells me I’m the best tea-maker in the office – such a charmer! Today, Brian is packing and sending out letters to our supporters who have donated their previously-loved goods to our shops.
12:30 Break for lunch – our team like to go for a quick walk at lunchtime. We’re fortunate to have a couple of lovely walks just metres away from the entrance to the hospice.
13:00 Back at my desk to start preparing for our monthly marketing meeting. This includes planning the social media content for August to present to the rest of the fundraising team.
13:30 Head to our recently refurbished family room to take some pictures for social media. The room is lovely – it looks like a hotel! The new Garden Annex, which is due to open in August, has allowed us to increase the number of family rooms, meaning more patients can have their loved ones to stay overnight. It’s thanks to our supporters that the new building and refurbished family room have been made possible.
13:45 Back to preparation for our marketing meeting. Also take the time to write this diary entry!
14:00 Say goodbye to Sue and Brian. Next week we’ll all be packing up our office to move into the new Garden Annex!
14:30 One of our supporters, Jimmy, pops by with a cheque. He’s raised a fantastic £540 at a recent afternoon tea event he put on for family and friends. This is the third year he’s done this, after his wife was cared for at Sobell House in 2017. One of my colleagues takes a photo of myself and Jimmy for us to post as a thank you on social media. I show him the newly designed courtyard, and he tells me about how he used to bring his wife outside to sit amongst the flowerbeds. The courtyard has been designed to have lots of nooks for patients and their loved ones to sit outside and enjoy some privacy.
15:00 Start working on an email to send to our Oxford Half Marathon participants (myself included)! We now have a team of over 350 who will be pounding the pavements in October to raise money for the hospice.
15:45 I get a call from a lady called Jane. She would like to donate £1,000 in memory of her brother, Keith, who was cared for by our community team. Keith had learning difficulties, and Jane sings the praises of our community nurse, Lisa, who she says took the time to get to know Keith and accommodated his needs really well. I promise Jane that I’ll pass on her lovely message to Lisa.
16:15 Our Chaplain, Graham, pops by with Luke, whose wife died at the hospice a few months back from a brain tumor and was visiting our bereavement service. I thank him very much for raising money for Sobell House – over £1,700 has been raised thanks to the generosity of his wife’s family and friends.
16:30 Say goodbye to the team and head back to my car. Fingers crossed the traffic is as clear as it was this morning!
Please note that names have been changed for anonymity.