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From Biological Sciences to Corporate Fundraising

Category: Birmingham St Mary’s Hospital, Pallative Care, Hospice, Work Experience, Care

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From charity head shaves to a corporate ‘jail’ event… where will Abi’s journey take her next?

After studying biological sciences at university, Abi never thought that she would be working as Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s new corporate partnerships coordinator. Since joining the Hospice in January, Abi has been proving that there is never a dull moment in our fundraising team. From networking with Birmingham’s business professionals to taking part in an exciting corporate event which saw the city’s top bosses sent to ‘jail’, Abi gives us a taster of what she’s been up since she joined the Hospice…

I have always been interested in charities and the work they do but after graduating from the University of Reading back in 2017, I never imagined that I would be working as part of the fundraising team at a local hospice. I realised quite quickly during my first job that that I wanted to be a part of something bigger, where I could use all of my passion for a particular cause to make a difference to people’s lives. It was only through this realisation that I began seeking a career in the third sector.

As I studied biological sciences at university, I developed a keen interest in understanding illnesses and I think this is what drew me to Birmingham St Mary’s. The Hospice does on-site research into life-limiting illness, as well as exploring how to shape and mould the care we provide so that it is the most effective for each person we support.

I realised that Birmingham St Mary’s was the right place for me from the moment I stepped through the doors – so I was thrilled when I landed the job! This first year has been a rollercoaster of a ride but everybody has been so supportive while I’ve been finding my feet within the charity. The Hospice encourages you to learn and grow within your role and having the opportunity to communicate with people from a variety of teams within the Hospice has allowed me to fully appreciate the way that the charity works.

In just a short period of time, I’ve been inspired by the positivity and dedication of our medical staff, experienced the challenges of being a fundraiser, supported a business professional in a charity head shave and taken part in a corporate fundraiser where some of Birmingham’s biggest bosses were sent to ‘jail’.

I’ve also attended various networking events where I’ve met with people who have experienced the fantastic care and support that the Hospice offers, whether that be directly or through a family or friend.

I did a mixture of biomedical modules on my course at university so I graduated with some practical knowledge of life-limiting illnesses. When I was studying though, I only learned about the effects of illness on paper – the causes, symptoms, progression, treatment etc. But working at the Hospice has opened my eyes to the real-life effects – the ones on family, friends and loved ones. Speaking to people who have watched somebody experience these illnesses is something that really hit home for me and act as a reminder as to why I wanted to work here in the first place.  

Nearly one year in and I have to say, I love working for a local charity. Like with any job, there are always going to be challenging moments but there are also many days that empower and inspire you. Knowing that the money I raise with Birmingham corporations and professionals help somebody with life-limiting illness to live well at the end of their life, makes all the hard work worth it. I’m so grateful to all the staff at the Hospice for their continued support in my new role and I can’t wait to see what new adventures await me in the future.

Thank you Abi for sharing your story. At Birmingham St Mary’s we are always looking for new people to join our team and who want to make a real difference to local people living with life-limiting illness. If you‘re interested in being a part of our story, take a look at the current paid and voluntary opportunities available on our website and Vercida.

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Birmingham St Mary's Hospice

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