Home > 1977 - 2017 > On the Blog: Behind the Scenes at St Columba’s Hospice

Throughout 2017 the Hospice will be marking our 40th anniversary.

All year, we are marking the four decades that we have been working with our community to provide care and support to patients and families and as part of our year-long programme of activity, we will be publishing a series of staff blog posts that will give you an insight in to what happens behind-the-scenes at the Hospice.

The staff blog posts will be written by people from all across the Hospice, with this installment coming from Barbara, who is the Hospice’s trusts and corporate fundraiser.

You can read the rest of the blogs in this series here, including a blog from our patient and family support assistant, a member of our domestic team, and our research fellow.

Trusts and corporate

How long have you worked at the Hospice for?

I have worked at the Hospice for 16 years. For 14 years I was trading company coordinator for the Hospice working closely with the managers of our shops, as well as being part of the fundraising team. For the past two years I have been working as trusts and corporate fundraiser.

Tell us about your role at the Hospice as a trusts and corporate fundraiser

As a trusts and corporate fundraiser I am currently based within the fundraising team at the Hospice. I am responsible for writing funding applications to different trusts and foundations throughout the year, whether it’s for specific projects, particular items of equipment that we might need, or for core funding costs.

I am also the first point of contact for corporate support in the community, encouraging the corporates with their corporate social responsibility requirements, writing applications for the charity of the year partnerships, and coordinating the corporate volunteering opportunities at the Hospice. Our 40 for 40 campaign this year (inviting 40 corporate supporters to each raise £1000 throughout the year) also comes under my corporate umbrella and is an exciting challenge for 2017!

How does your role help patients and families?

Helping patients and families is at the core of my role. Although I may not have much direct contact with the patients and their families, I know that all the successful trust applications I write and the corporate fundraising I encourage is going to benefit the patients and their families in some way. I have a close relationship with the rest of the team at the Hospice and receive regular requests for help with sourcing funding for clinical equipment, additional services, corporate volunteering help in the gardens and even new bed linen and towels for the wards. Last year for example I had a particular request from the occupational therapy team for new recliner chairs for the patients in the wards. I applied for money from trusts and foundations, and through the financial gifts we received we raised £42,450 which was enough to replace all the old recliner chairs and buy new wheelchairs as well – all with a view to making life as comfortable as possible for our patients.

On the corporate side, a team from one of our corporate supporters helped with our Light Up A Life campaign in the run up to Christmas, and were determined to do more to help the Hospice in another way. They organised a dress-down day in their office and held a bake sale, and as a result they were able to pay for all the Christmas presents for our patients in the wards plus the Day Hospice, as well as covering the cost of the Christmas lunches for all the staff and patients. It’s humbling to see such warmth of support.

What would surprise people about your role?

I see myself as being very much part of the fundraising team here at the Hospice and not working in isolation. Although my specific role as a trusts and corporate fundraiser is a fairly quiet, methodical and consistent role, you could still find me manning a coffee stall at the crack of dawn at the foot of the Pentlands, giving a presentation to a local Rotary club, or even dressing up as a haggis if needed for a photo opportunity – not that I’m offering! It is a varied role and never boring.

What is it like working at the Hospice?

I have seen many changes in the Hospice over the past 16 years but what never changes is the total commitment to care given by all our staff and volunteers to our patients and their families. I think the care is almost palpable and obvious from the minute you step through the reception doors. It is a privilege to be working in a place that is making such a difference in the lives of those who need our help.

What do you like doing in your own time?

I love walking, hill-walking and cycling. My major achievement last year was completing the Celtic Challenge along with my husband – we cycled 200 miles from Edinburgh to Iona over four days. I highly recommend it to anyone who can sit on a bike! I am partial to the odd glass of Chardonnay as well – not on school nights of course!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Some people might not be aware we have a lovely café and shop at the Hospice. If a family member is a little anxious about a loved one being admitted to the Hospice, it’s an ideal spot to relax over a complimentary cup of coffee or tea and watch the daily life at the Hospice taking shape.

Read the other installments from our staff blog series here!