Personal account: Lucy Burton

The Children's Society operations and events manager swears by her purple wig.

- The best advice I've had

This was from my wonderful first fundraising boss, Julie Edwards at Help the Aged, who now heads a team at Macmillan Cancer Support. She said that email is often a hindrance rather than a tool in fundraising and that you cannot get out and about enough. She said people find it hard to say no to you over the phone and impossible in person. I have used this advice for every fundraising event I have worked on. It never fails to work.

- The biggest challenge I've faced

Launching a new national fundraising event is tough, especially a sponsored walk in an already crowded market. I would say that the success of the Children's Society Footsteps for Childhood walk was down to the creation of as many puns as possible. I never thought I would get so excited about references to feet or that I would find myself talking to so many people about "putting their best foot forward".

- My greatest hit

Organising the Living Legends awards ceremony for Help the Aged was both inspirational and emotional. The awards are for older local heroes, and I don't think I have ever met so many amazing people. I remember one gentleman who won an award for sporting achievements and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for countless charities. But what really made the tears start flowing was finding out that he'd sold all his own Olympic and sporting medals to pay for an operation to save his wife's life.

- My worst moment

My first fundraising job involved getting student groups from universities across the country to do bucket collecting. My job was to make sure they were thanked with parties, and also to sort out accommodation for them in church halls.

The first time I did it, two students were taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning, one went Awol at 3am and the floor of the church hall was so hard and cold that nobody got to sleep before 5am. I then had the job of waking everybody up one hour later so they could go and do a day's collecting. You can imagine what sort of reaction I got.

- My top tip

Dress up whenever possible. People react better and are less likely to complain or be serious if you are wearing a purple wig.

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