When I was little, I wanted to be a digger driver. At ten, I wanted to drive a digger around town offering my digging services to anyone who needed it. I liked the idea of being useful and helping people. Like many people I was funnelled into applying to university by my school as it helped their rankings, more than it necessarily helped their students. I chose marketing as I liked art, and I liked science, and marketing was a combination that had a career path at the end of it.
As part of my degree, I needed to do an industrial placement. So, I went to the careers fair at university. As I walked round the stands of multinational companies, I felt sad. I didn’t want to work for any of these companies. They all seemed so un-useful to the world. I needed to work doing something the world needed. I came home from the careers fair worried about what I was going to do. My mum suggested looking though the ads in the paper (because that’s how you found jobs in the 1990s) and something stuck out. A local charity was looking for a marketing officer. Reading the ad, I felt excited. Not only that I was pretty sure I could do everything they wanted, but also that I’d be doing something useful.
That first job was a huge learning curve. During the days of the first websites, I built one (hit counter and all). I learnt how to run marketing campaigns, put on massive events, and make money (fundraise) for things that mattered. But most of all I got inspired by working with incredible people who were changing the world; people fighting inequality, injustice, and unkindness; people creating services and support for those who need it, and people who were doing something about the things that felt wrong in world.
I never looked back. I’ve only ever worked for charities since then. They’ve always been for causes I care about - charities that deliver services, campaign for change, and help children and young people in one way or another. As my career progressed through different charities and roles, my goal has always been to take on things that challenge me, and society. Last year I was named a 2022 Woman of the Year – a huge honour, but also a chance to reflect on everything I’ve worked on over the years.
Now working for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, I support children and their families all over Sussex. I work with a tiny team of experts who are passionate about what they do for their local community. I get to work with brilliant doctors and nurses who support sick children and their families every day. I get to work with incredible supporters and collaborators who want the world to be a better place for children to grow up.
Whilst I don’t have a digger, my job is to go around my town, and the county, helping people. I support people to engage in brilliant projects in their communities. I help people raise money for services that will save lives. And I connect people together to change the landscape for children in Sussex. And that makes me as excited as it did when I was ten.