This time last year I walked into the Hospice to start my role as Trusts and Grants Fundraiser at St Wilfrid’s Hospice. It is a decision that I can look back at now as one of the most significant I have ever made. Having worked in a number of charities I can honestly say this is both the best environment and team I have worked with and throughout the hospice and into the community we serve there is a real energy surrounding the work that we do.

It seems apt that as I write this in June 2018 we have just completed our first Kapow event, an event with its own Superhero theme. Everyone associated with the Hospice is a hero in their own right from the volunteers we would not function without, to the staff and through to the companies/trusts that support us.

What does a Trusts and Grants fundraiser DO?

For those who do not know what the role of a Trust/Grants Fundraiser entails, in a nutshell I write appeals based upon the needs of the hospice to seek funding that directly benefit our patients. This is either done via a Wish List process at the beginning of the year or an early morning conversation with one of the nurses where:

• “How are you today?” Could equal a mattress needing funding
• “You know how you are my favourite“ Will mean an item needs funding urgently
• “You look really good today” Means I am in real trouble and a position needs funding

Luckily I will do anything for a bit of flattery so it works every time and if I have learnt one thing from my first year here it’s that I am incapable of saying no to a member of the nursing team!

An example of some of the items in our IPU rooms which require funding - these include beds, mattresses, specialised tables and recliner chairs.

It is then my role to source, research and then secure the funding required. It is a pressurised role which due to a mixture of Government cuts and the harsher financial climate has led to an increase of applications to our main funders of over 50% with a number reporting over 1000 funding applications for every donation they make!

Despite the challenging conditions of the role I am pleased to say we had a good year and although this financial year will be tougher still I consider myself incredibly privileged to be in a position that allows for me to work with a number of departments first hand and witness the direct benefits that the funding received has given to our patients.

Praise for the hospice clinical team

It has also opened up my eyes to the incredible work the nursing team at St Wilfrid’s do and I can honestly say that not only do they do a job that I could never do but they do it with an energy and humour that I find inspiring, I could not be prouder to work alongside them.

Which leads nicely onto this year and our main Trust aim is to fund more fabulous nurses through our Closer To You appeal which will directly benefit patients in the hard to reach areas of our catchment area and I hope to be able to bring you the news this time next year that we have been able to do this.

My first year has been a pleasure and with the hard work of the whole team here I am confident we will continue to go from strength to strength.

I will end by saying that there is no doubt in my mind that the nurses here are the true Superheroes of the hospice and next year at Kapow I have agreed to run in a costume of their choice – as I said previously I cannot say no to them!

What costume will our intrepid Nursing Team pick for poor Mark in 2019?