18 months ago, I walked into the Haven House grounds for the first time and felt something very special that I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of. I wasn’t wrong and can honestly say it’s been the best year and a half of my professional life.

Haven House is a wonderful place to be and although there are naturally difficult days, it’s a place full of fun and laughter for the children and young people we support.

I am the Trusts and Grants Manager, which means I manage Haven House’s relationships with grant-giving organisations.

My role is incredibly varied, raising funds not only for the core costs of operating the hospice, but also for specific services, individual pieces of equipment, salaries, major projects and training courses. This means I am lucky enough to work very closely with members of the team from across the organisation, in particular our Director of Care and Statutory Partnerships Manager and have developed a real sense of the difference we make at Haven House to the children, young people and families we support.

Trust Fundraising is hugely important for Haven House, bringing in approximately 10% of the funds needed to run our services, and this is incredibly motivating as I know the work I do makes a tangible difference, which I can see each day.

The best part of my role is working alongside some fantastic long-term supporters such as Epic, who support our core costs, The Story of Christmas, without whom a number of capital projects could not have taken place, The Jack Petchey Foundation who help us to recognise the amazing achievements of the young people we support and The Amy Winehouse Foundation who kindly funded our Music Therapy room. Developing strong relationships with warm supporters is vital in ensuring we secure sustainable funding sources which helps us to plan for the future and ensure we continue to offer the best possible service to our families.

Trust Fundraising can be an isolating role, so I try my best to take part in all aspects of life at the hospice, such as performing with the Haven House band at last year’s Summer Fair. I’ve become well known for my skills in fixing the projector and even ended up pushing cars up the driveway with our CEO during the Beast from the East last winter!

I love working at Haven House, so much so that it doesn’t often feel like a job – it’s just somewhere I come to work alongside my friends to raise funds for a very special cause – and they happen to give me lots of free tea! (which for me, as my colleagues know only too well, is nothing to joke about!)