CAREERS: HOW I GOT HERE - Paul Rushton, head of fundraising, British Wheelchair Sports Foundation

What was your first job? After graduation from Loughborough University in 1994, I became chairman of the university's fundraising rag for two years.

What does your current role involve? My job at the British Wheelchair Sports Foundation is to maximise new and existing income streams. To date this has included developing a range of fundraising events, a committed giving campaign, sourcing new corporate partners and working on a major appeal to help our paralympic athletes prepare for Athens.

Roughly outline your career path After Loughborough, I worked for the Anthony Nolan Trust for six years in a variety of roles before I joined the BWSF's offices at Stoke Mandeville.

What training has most enhanced your career? The most valuable training has been the day-to-day skills I learned from Dianne Howe, my first manager at the Anthony Nolan Trust. Her enthusiasm, advice, hard work ethic and willingness to assist me and overcome any problems I encountered had a huge impact on my career.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Without doubt, raising more than £200,000 in two years as rag chairman at Loughborough.

What is your advice to people starting out in this sector? Try to find a job that enables you to work in several areas of fundraising rather than just one. You can then decide which direction you want to take later.

Also, do not feel imprisoned by your own choices. If you don't feel comfortable in one charity, move on. There are lots of different types of organisations in the sector.

Are there any charities you support financially, or with time?

I sponsor a five-year-old child called Victor in Kenya through World Vision. I like the fact that my donations are making a difference to a remote community. I also regularly donate to Loros, a charity that provides hospice care services in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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