Sarah Hyde, Community Funding and Marketing Officer, from Nelson’s Journey lifts the lid on life at the Norfolk children’s charity.
Can you explain what Nelson’s Journey does in seven words?
Bring back smiles to Norfolk’s bereaved children.
And what you do in three…
Support community fundraisers.
What are you most passionate about in your work?
Making sure fundraisers are supported and that they have a good fundraising journey. Knowing that the support they provide will help bereaved children and young people in finding a way through their grief is a massive driving factor for me. I feel so touched knowing that people want to help others, it’s such a lovely notion. Our fundraisers are incredible. Without them we wouldn’t be able to offer our services, so it’s my pleasure to be able to thank them for their support.
What’s the best thing your charity has ever spent money on?
Smiles House. For many years Nelson’s Journey dreamed of owning its own property from which it could provide a service to Norfolk’s bereaved children and young people. Nelson’s Journey has always offered its service on an outreach basis, which used to mean that our bereavement workers spent a lot of time travelling between appointments. Having this facility from which we can offer our service means that we can spend more time supporting those who need our help. We continue to offer our bereavement support service on an outreach basis to those families who are unable to travel to Smiles House, helping to ensure we remain as accessible as possible.
What was your own first experience of fundraising?
It was at Nelson’s Journey. I attended the switching on of the Christmas lights in Norwich; we had a stand manned by volunteers. A teenage girl came bounding up to our stand and with excitement told me that she was supported by Nelson’s Journey several years ago. This girl went on to tell me that she still has her memory jar that she made for her special person who died, that she looks at it every day and that it still helps her.
What’s the best fundraising idea your charity has ever had?
We have a rather amazing Youth Panel at Nelson’s Journey, made up of 12 volunteers aged 11-17, some who have used our service and others who just have an interest in supporting the work that we do. They meet once every half term and have come up with so many great ideas like our Smiles and Tears phone app and our Purple Picnic fundraising week that takes place every June!
What do you like most about using Virgin Money Giving?
We get a very personal service for such a large company. The online giving pages look amazing – they allow you to be really creative if you want to be and are really easy for fundraisers to use.
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