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How did you get that job?
Names Louise Stirton
Job Titles Fundraising Executive for Scotland and Northern Ireland Company Teenage Cancer Trust
When did you start your job? March 2009 So what does your job actually involve? Well, contrary to popular belief it doesn’t involve shaking a bucket or hanging on to a clip board on a busy high street,
nor does it involve going door to door trying to encourage people to sign up to a monthly donation. Yes, I am responsible for raising funds and awareness for Teenage Cancer Trust, but I do this in a variety of ways. From giving talks to small local community groups, to visiting our patients and families in our specialised units, or organising collections and working with companies and their employees - every day is different. And of course who could forget about organising all those fundraising events! Best / Worst Aspects? Without sounding like the token charity worker, the best aspect of my job
without doubt is having the privilege to not only help young people diagnosed with cancer but to be able to work along side them. They are all so inspirational and take my breath away with their courage and determination. Not only that, I am also fortunate enough to meet some of the most amazing people who dedicate their lives to helping Teenage Cancer Trust. Another best bit (that doesn’t make me sound like Mother Theresa) is getting to attend a lot of very desirable events, festivals and gigs! The worst bit comes as no surprise; having to see the impact of such a terrible disease on a daily basis can be extremely difficult and heartbreaking. Also, nobody likes working weekends and nights, do they?! Looking back, what advice would you give to young Louise at the start of her career? Reach out and grab every opportunity with both hands. It was completely by chance that I ended up as a fundraiser, and now I have the privilege of waking up every day without the dreaded ‘work blues’. Don’t just think about what you enjoy doing, but also what you are good at. I remember being told, ‘you are a people person
so go and get a job that involves being around people’. Turns out that fundraising is all about people: building relationships with them, helping them, supporting them and having fun with them! It’s the perfect job for a talkative person like me! My biggest piece of advice to all budding fundraisers is to volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! It really does help you to get a foot in the door – and if you take that advice, this next piece is of the greatest importance: always take gloves when you are bucket collecting!!
And finally . . . what are you most looking forward to in 2011? In 2010, Teenage Cancer Trust celebrated its 20th anniversary and it’s remarkable to see what we have achieved in such a short space of time. I can’t wait to see how we continue to help young people diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and in particular how we develop services in Scotland. I am also very excited about all the activity we have in the pipeline with celebrities and national campaigns! Watch this space! www.teenagecancertrust.org
20 Jan–3 Feb 2011 THE LIST 85