Boobie bakes to bus behinds
Our Head of Client Teams, Zoë, discusses her time at Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust in our first post of our volunteering blog series.
As part of our company’s commitment to social responsibility we are proud to offer each team member two paid days each year to volunteer and work with charitable causes (you can read more about how and why we give back to our local and wider communities in our recent article in Stylist). This year I chose to approach Addenbrooke’s Hospital about volunteering for two days – we like to be flexible in our approach so can offer a half day here or a full day there – to fit around our work schedules and any specific projects or campaigns that an organisation needs help with.
I wanted to support Addenbrooke’s after I received such outstanding care there last year following a car accident – from the first responder and the paramedics who sought me out in A&E later in the day to the nurses on the ward and the surgeon who performed the surgery I needed on my arm. Considering it was such a traumatic experience I do remember the people who cared for me with great appreciation and I know that the majority of people living in the region will know of someone who has been treated or cared for at this hospital. I wanted to give back in some way so I approached the hospital directly – understandably for volunteers on the wards, for example, they need on-going commitment to regular days each week for a set amount of time. Next stop for me was Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT), the only registered charity dedicated to supporting innovation in patient care across Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.
I had of course heard of ACT before and have even met with the fundraising team a couple of years ago when we were setting up a corporate partnership for one of our own clients but I was keen to learn more about the different activities they are involved with and how this in turn helps the departments of the hospitals. I was put in touch with the Marketing and Communications Team who (thankfully!) were pleased to receive the offer of two days voluntary work which I undertook at the end of October.
Hearing first hand from the Community Fundraising Manager about the need for more community ambassadors was essential for my first task – creating a communications plan to increase the roll of community ambassadors for the next 12 months. Next up was a visit to the branded Stagecoach bus which was parked up near the hospital promoting the Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal. This year ACT has been encouraging individuals, groups and companies to host a ‘boobie cake bake’ on Friday 21 October to support the thousands of local, inspirational women and men who demonstrate a life-affirming spirit in their daily battle against cancer. Thanks to Stagecoach and Mr Hugh’s (producers of infused oils), members of the public could get their hands on their own infused oils to help their next ‘boobie bake’ as the bus made stops at all of the Park & Ride sites throughout the day.
I was also asked to help brainstorm ideas to spread the reach of two upcoming events – the Annual Lecture & Reception and the popular Rudolph Run, which takes place in December.
My time at ACT solidified my thinking that Addenbrooke’s offers care and help to people of all ages, shapes and sizes with all ailments and injuries, needing the most advanced care and equipment, and it is up to us, as members of the public, to offer our time to help – whether it’s an afternoon a week or two days a year – every little counts! To be able to transfer my skills which I use in my day to day work to a real life project for a charity was extremely rewarding and I hope to be able to offer my time again soon.