Charlotte Anson: My first 12 weeks It’s been a busy few months for Corporate Partnerships Manager, Charlotte Anson. In her blog post, she reflects on the first 12 weeks in her new role here at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. Having worked in the third sector for 5 years, I know I am really lucky to be so close to amazing work which changes lives. In my new role as Corporate Partnerships Manager, I also get to meet and work with some wonderful business supporters. The city has a thriving business network and the generosity and support from our corporate partners is invaluable. 2016 is going to a big year at the Hospice which I am excited to be a part of. I want our business supporters to have an insight into life here at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice so over the next year, I’ll be blogging my journey as we reach out to more corporate supporters to raise awareness of the great work we do here. The last 12 weeks have been a chance for me to get to know the Hospice and the team (I’ll touch on how great they are in a moment). Here’s what I’ve been up to so far… Full of little reminders This is my first fundraising role where I have been based in the same building that the care takes place in (you’ll find me in the loft office space!). This means that most days there will be a little reminder of why we are here. Just recently I’ve seen a grandmother visiting to sit by the memory tree on the anniversary of her granddaughter’s death as well as a young family bringing in a donation from a sponsored event they took part in to remember their loved one. The smallest snapshots can be the biggest reminders. Nothing is too much trouble Patients come first; they really do here at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. The team have hosted Weddings, Birthday Parties and Christmas Celebrations in July. I’ve already witnessed our kitchen staff rushing around to cater for a family of 8 who we weren’t expecting to see. Our head cook was determined that they wouldn’t go hungry. It’s touching to see Hospice staff and volunteers come together for one reason, to support patients and their loved ones. More than a building There’s more to the Hospice than the building when it comes to care and support, our nurses support patients and their loved ones in their own homes, doing whatever is necessary to make patients as comfortable and happy as possible. A group of corporate volunteers came to help in the gardens and remember a colleague who had been supported by the Hospice before he passed away. The parents of the colleague who sadly passed away also came to visit. They told me of how one of our nurses had arranged for a special screening of James Bond as their son was coughing too much to be at a public screening. He died four days later. The memory is so precious to his parents and listening as they told the story was very moving. Business supporters can make a big impact We have a handful of supporters in the business community who are helping us to make a big impact. Fitzgerald Civil Engineers have helped us to grow our Treecycling campaign by 66% this year, making it our record breaking Treecycling campaign to date. Without them it wouldn’t be possible to grow our campaigns and services. I was also staggered as the totals rolled in for the Phoenix Group Charity Shop Challenge, which raised over £7,000! This was a fantastic achievement and a lot of hard work went into it by the Phoenix Group staff. For one of the shops, the day’s takings equalled the average for one week so you can see what an impact the support from our businesses can make. Amazing, creative team of clinicians and fundraisers Many of my colleagues are driven by personal experiences of the Hospice (more than I had imagined), all are driven by a belief in the care and support provided and an ambition to evolve our care and services to provide the best quality end of life for patients and their families. The first 12 weeks has confirmed one thing; that there is a challenging and exciting year ahead. I will keep you posted!