Our Team: Toybox

Stephen Thorn, marketing and fundraising director, takes us behind the scenes of the charity's fundraising department


How many fundraisers are there?

There are four paid fundraisers, including me, at our office in Milton Keynes, and we have 598 volunteer fundraisers throughout the UK.

What do they do?

They go into churches and schools and tell the stories of the street children they have met on projects in South America.

We aim to make people think about how radically different their lives could have been if they'd been born into poverty. We also organise direct mail appeals, gala dinners and sponsored challenges.

How much do you raise?

We're on target to raise £1.73m this year. Half of our income comes from regular givers and half from a wide variety of fundraising activities.

What's in the pipeline?

Toybox has teamed up with the Steve Sinnott Award, which is given to young campaigners for global education, to send two children and their teacher from the Seven Kings School, Essex, to a Guatemalan school.

On their return, they will spread the word by showing a film about their visit in 7,000 schools across the UK. We hope this will inspire children and parents to do their own fundraising for us.

What's it like in the office?

It's vibrant - literally. The office walls are painted bright pink and orange. We recently moved into a new space and were pleased not to be in a tiny office above a shop any more that we decorated it with big photos of the children we've worked with. This helps to keep us focused on their plight.

Interview by Jenny Roper

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