Hello everyone, for anyone who I haven’t met yet I’m Laura, I started with Cure Leukaemia early August this year. I’m originally from North London and moved to Birmingham back in December 2014.
I’ve never worked for a charity before and I was very excited to learn more about the organisation and charities as a whole.
During my first week here there were talks of the ‘Color Run’ at the NEC, Birmingham, something I was already itching to do myself! I asked the office and they were more than happy to get me suited and booted! Before I knew it I was at the start line of what is known as ‘the happiest 5k in the world.’ I didn’t run for the entire course as reading up about it people advised “it’ll be over before you know it.”
So instead I walked it with The Binding Site’s very own Katie Jowett & her family and friends. On the day I also had the pleasure of meeting Fiona Codd, a former Leukaemia patient who was also running and was treated by Professor Charlie Craddock. I also met the nurses from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham that work on Ward 625 who get involved with many of our events. Their energy and enthusiasm was great to see!
Going through each colour station I was enjoying myself more and more. We obviously had to run across the finish line! The atmosphere was fantastic and I can’t wait to sign up again next year!
By the second week here in the nicest and most welcoming way possible, I felt like I was a part of the furniture! It’s a very relaxed but professional manner the office work in. You will never go thirsty due to the amount of tea and coffee we get through, I can definitely see why everyone says “CL Family.”
I had only been here a month and myself and John had been given the task of organising a campaign called “Just One More” for Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September. I felt so shocked and happy that I was already being trusted to help sort something so big! This is where we established our office ‘Fine Jar’ which was quite hilarious as we all had our little fines such as words and phrases we say a lot. As I was still new mine was sneezing! Due to starting in August and being an awful hay fever sufferer the team picked up on this and we managed to raise quite a lot with our fines. With all the laughter that came along with this campaign I also got to see another side to it and the reason we were raising the money too.
I visited Ward 625 at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital to film a video for the campaign. I didn’t meet patients on this occasion but walking passed to get to one of the waiting rooms inside the ward I happened to look in to where the patients were. I did meet the Ward 625 nurses who I think are amazing, their ability to switch on and off between working and interviewing, to always have smiles on their faces and to take part in the majority of our fundraisers as well as holding their own raffles is truly inspiring. It’s not just a job to them, it’s their life. I also had the pleasure in meeting Barbara Waller during our filming, one of our former patients who now volunteers on the ward on a weekly basis. There’s no better way to say thank you than giving up your time to help the people that helped you – and the people who are going through the same thing you did too. It’s both lovely and brave to do.
Since starting back in August I have managed to attend quite a few important events such as our strategic planning meeting with the Chairman Ian Allen, Trustees and key Partners, and of course Professor Charlie Craddock – the Co-founder of the charity! I was so excited about meeting him, the work he does for the charity is fantastic. The meeting was very eye-opening, and although I was just taking notes, I still felt a part of it. The dinner afterwards was where I got to properly meet quite a few important people within our CL family who all made me feel welcome.
The second event I attended was the London 2 Paris launch/reunion. It’s an event I read up on a lot before starting Cure Leukaemia. I saw some familiar faces and met some lovely new ones. It was held at the beautiful Marco Pierre White Champagne Bar, looking out across the whole of Birmingham sipping on wine – I felt very lucky to be there. I spent the evening as the event photographer, it’s great way to engage with people. It also gave me a chance to speak with the cyclists personally about their experiences. The whole event got me buzzing (and no not because of the wine) but because of the atmosphere and all the cyclists talking about their journey and how amazing they felt afterwards. It almost made me want to sign up myself!
My third event was the one I was looking forward to very much. Glynn Purnell and Friends’ Friday Night Kitchen held at Aston Villa’s Holte Suite. Great food, great guests and of course great chefs! The event happened within a blink of an eye – and the planning for that one day takes a whole year! I thoroughly enjoyed myself that night even though it was classed at working, I barely felt like I was. I loved every second of it. The night was about great food and looking after our CL family who do so much for us.
My fourth and latest event so far was the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run. I was on the cheering bus for the day which was situated at the last mile of the run – seeing all our runners approach the bus realising it’s the Cure Leukaemia bus was truly magical, after nearly running a half marathon their faces lit up seeing (and definitely hearing!) the support must have been the extra boost they need for the home straight!
I was one of the photographers for the day, which was great as it’s a personal hobby of mine and it’s nice that the team are encouraging me to help in this way. Again the atmosphere on the day, just like at any other CL event made me want to take part!
It’s safe to say at nearly 3 months in I can’t get enough of my job I just want to do anything and everything I can! I feel like I’m a part of the family, the charity has definitely changed my outlook on life and it’s encouraged me to be a better person. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me here at Cure Leukaemia!
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