Diana DeMoura Stewart, project manager, The London Marathon

The London Marathon project manager at the Children's Trust on living a dream.

- The best advice I've had

I've had some great managers in my professional life, who have taught me to love work but never get overwhelmed by it.

And even if everything seems to be going wrong, the chances are that it will work out in the end. Being calm in all situations is the best way to deal with them.

- The biggest challenge I've faced

I found starting a career in fundraising very tricky. I eventually broke in by volunteering at the Children's Trust for six months, working across community fundraising, individual giving and events, all of which I found really challenging.

That experience allowed me to discover the area I was most interested in. After six months, I had the chance to apply for a position working in events. I haven't looked back.

- My greatest hit

Definitely the Children's Trust being selected as the official charity for the Flora London Marathon 2009, which is a fundraiser's dream come true. I have been working on the marathon at the trust for the past four years and it has been fantastic to increase our budget year on year, but nothing compares to the moment when you realise your application to be the official charity has actually been successful. We now have staff dedicated to this project. Our next challenge is to recruit hundreds of ballot place runners.

- My worst moment

Last year I went to Kilimanjaro with a group of our supporters. In the last stage of the trek, just before the day we planned to travel to the top, one of our walkers became ill and was told by the doctor that she could not attempt the finish. I had to make the decision to stay with her rather than going for the summit. I have never regretted it, but it was really disappointing not to reach the top - so much so that I am now trekking to Kilimanjaro again for the trust next year.

- My top tip

Really get to know your supporters. Take an interest in their circumstances and treat them as friends. They will really appreciate this, and in return they will have a much more special relationship with your charity. It really makes a difference when you remember something they said in the last call and ask about it.

- Interview by Annie Kelly.

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