Over the next few months, we’re introducing you to the team here at Rockinghorse children’s charity…
Many of our supporters think that we are a large organization but in reality, we are a small team of just ten staff, with five working part-time. We pride ourselves on working closely with the businesses, schools, community groups, trusts and individuals who support us.
In a series of blogs featuring the Rockinghorse team, meet Lucy Pond, our Challenge Events Fundraising Manager…
What does a Challenge Events Fundraising Manager do?
Lucy manages all our challenge-led events and partnerships. These include marathons, skydives, treks, overseas challenges and much more! She encourages people to sign up for these events and works with them to maximise fundraising opportunities.
In addition to this, Lucy manages and coordinates a very special Christmas initiative called Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project. Founded by Lucy and her husband Simon, the project provides families who are staying in hospital at Christmas, with a cooked festive dinner and hamper full of treats.
Each Christmas, over 50 hampers are delivered to parents at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) and Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) in Brighton. This project is very close to Lucy’s heart.
How long has Lucy worked for Rockinghorse and why did she want to get involved?
Lucy joined Rockinghorse in November 2018 but has been part of the Rockinghorse family for over five years through Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project.
She experienced the work of Rockinghorse first-hand when her son Aidan, spent three months at the Alex back in 2014. She explains, “It wasn’t until I was spending time in the children’s hospital with my own sick son, that I discovered how essential the work of charities like Rockinghorse is.
“Having worked in the commercial sector for most of my career, I wanted a more rewarding job where I can give back to those in need. What could be more rewarding than working for a charity that my family has directly benefitted from.”
About Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project
Lucy’s son Aidan spent three months on the High Dependency Unit at the Alex in 2014. He sadly passed away in hospital aged just 19 months old. Here, Lucy shares her story…
“We spent Aidan’s last Christmas at the Alex. One of the things I found hardest was not being provided with any sort of meal for my family on Christmas Day. We couldn’t take Aidan out of hospital and unfortunately the NHS does not have the money to provide a Christmas dinner for families.
“Nobody wants to spend Christmas in hospital and sadly some children are too sick to go home. I decided to set up Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project in Aidan’s memory. I fundraise £3,500 each year to provide 55 parent hampers with treats and goodies for parents and carers. This money also covers the cost of 35 Christmas dinners which are cooked by our wonderful volunteers in the parent accommodation of level 10 at the Alex.
“Having this personal and close connection to the charity makes working at Rockinghorse so worthwhile. I can relate to the parents and carers of sick children who want to fundraise for us because like me, they want to give something back.”
You can read more about Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project, by clicking here.
What is the best part of your job and your proudest moment at Rockinghorse?
Lucy says, “I really enjoy talking to people and telling them about our work and encouraging the public to support what we do. Equally, I like hearing stories from our supporters and their reasons for fundraising for Rockinghorse.
“I also really enjoy working with and supporting the Rockinghorse team. We are a small team of just ten members of staff, so everyone works hard together. I’m proud to be part of a happy, motivated office of people working for the common goals of the charity.”
Lucy describes her proudest moment, she says, “It’s definitely handing out parent hampers on Christmas Eve. Many parents are overwhelmed; there are tears and lots of grateful hugs. Keeping Aidan’s memory alive by helping others makes me incredibly proud.”
Have you ever taken part in your own fundraising event for Rockinghorse?
Lucy explains, “Before I worked for Rockinghorse, I organised a fashion show for Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project. We raised over £2,000 from ticket sales, a raffle and takings on the bar. I am a keen runner so hope to take on a running challenge soon!”
Tell us a little bit more about you…
Lucy says, “I have a young family who keep me on my toes! I speak fluent Spanish as I studied the language at the University of Hull and Granada in Spain. I love travelling to Spain and South America to practice the language and visit friends. I also sing in a local community choir and enjoy running and going to live music gigs.”
To meet the entire Rockinghorse team, please click here.