Personal account: Nancy Prior, British Heart Foundation

The event project manager struggles to keep morale high on a trek in Nepal.

- The best advice I've had

My previous manager at the RNID, Nicky Bagilhole, would always say we had to make sure we enjoyed our jobs. You spend so much time at work that if you didn't enjoy yourself, you'd have to question why you were doing it. I think it's the same with life - you've only got one shot so you have to make the most of it.

- The biggest challenge I've faced

The first fundraising event I ever led on was, quite bizarrely, a talk on snakes to a group of major donors. I was working at children's charity NCH at the time and I was really enthusiastic and excited about my first big fundraising project. Unfortunately, the thought of eating dinner surrounded by tanks of snakes didn't appeal to many people, and trying to sell tickets was a real example of flogging a dead horse.

- My greatest hit

I joined the BHF events department in 2005 from a much smaller team, so when I first saw the fundraising target for the London Marathon I was quite intimidated. However, it was fantastic when we managed to exceed the target by £100,000, and it's been growing every year since then. And after all the hard work we put in, a sweaty hug at the end of a marathon really does make my year.

- My worst moment

Last year, I took a group of BHF supporters trekking in Nepal. We knew it was going to be tough, but explaining to a group of tired, cold trekkers that after nine days walking knee-high in snow they would not reach Everest base camp was one of the hardest things I have had to do.

Unfortunately, severe weather meant the final stretch of the route was inaccessible. Although it had been explained that this might happen, it was nevertheless incredibly disappointing for us all. However, it did show the resilience of human nature, because only a few days later we were happily celebrating what had been the trip of a lifetime for all of us.

- My top tip

Have the confidence to be yourself. I realise this sounds a little like a corny self-help book, but it really does make a difference. Never try to be something you're not. Enthusiasm and passion are so important in fundraising. If you lack these, supporters can spot it a mile off, and it makes doing the job so much harder.

- Interview by Annie Kelly.

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