I first heard about Haven House through my aunt who had been volunteering with them. She encouraged me to get involved and I volunteered at a Summer Fayre.

I had a fantastic day and got a wonderful sense of how much the community loves and supports the hospice. At this time I was still studying at university in Canterbury, however the hospice and that day really made a lasting impression on me and stuck in my mind.

After I graduated I wanted to get involved again so I contacted my aunt, who put me in touch with Charlotte, the manager of the community engagement team at the hospice. I informed her I was eager to get involved and she set up a meeting to talk about the opportunities I could take on.

Coming out of that initial meeting with a six-month community fundraising and events internship was an amazing and welcome surprise.

My degree was in graphic design, so being in an office environment was something I wasn’t used to when I started the internship. However, I felt passionately about the hospice and doing well, so I went head first into the role.

I can’t tell you how much I learned and grew as a person through this internship; the experience was invaluable.

As part of the community team, my tasks were so varied it was impossible to get bored or lose interest in the role. I researched pumpkin head boppers, put up posters about our upcoming events, found contacts for local estate agents and made follow-up calls to schools to see if they wanted to support us. I also got speak to and meet people from all over the community willing to give up their time and money to support the hospice, which is one of the most rewarding sides to fundraising. 

As my internship was nearing its end I was approached by the corporate and major gifts team who offered me an opportunity to join the team as a Corporate Partnerships Executive. I couldn’t believe it and of course I said yes as I didn’t want my time at Haven House to end. I was excited to take on a new role in a new team and learn more and more.

This role has opened me up to an entirely new world.

I’ve pushed myself to do things I never would have had the confidence to do before and experienced things that have made my time at Haven house incredible.

These include presenting to potential supporters in huge board rooms, attending fabulous London-based events, helping to organise our own events, speaking in front a large number of people, liaising with corporates and attending meetings in the city.

Through this role in particular I have also learned a great deal more about the hospice itself and the families we support as one of my tasks is to give potential and current supporters a tour of the hospice. By doing this, I get to see the children being cared for by our amazing care team and I get to interact with the families that use the hospice and hear how our work in the fundraising team has helped them in some way.

I will always be grateful for the experiences Haven House has been able to offer me.

I couldn’t think of a better place to have started my career. 

If you're inspired by Abbi's story to volunteer at Haven House, read about our volunteering opportunities. You never know where it might lead.