The date 15 May 2000 sticks in my mind as the day that my career really began. It's the day I got a job at the British Red Cross after two false starts working in sales for a healthcare company and at Tarmac in a transport and logistics role. Hearing that Tarmac was being taken over was my push to pursue work in the voluntary sector. I knew something of the sector through volunteering at the charities for which my dad worked, and I saw fundraising as a good application of my degree – marketing with a conscience.
Over the next eight years at the British Red Cross I had about nine different roles across a range of disciplines. This gave me a good grounding in many areas, the highlight being managing the Tesco corporate partnership in 2007.
I loved the BRC but felt I needed experience elsewhere, so I moved to the NSPCC partnerships management team. Unfortunately it wasn't quite what I expected and I found myself becoming cynical about the ability to end child abuse. I learnt that it's important to be passionate about a cause to do a good job. I then joined the Communication Trust, which is hosted by I Can, when my son was learning to talk, which gave me an understanding of the importance of children's communication. I was director for a national campaign and then did something similar at the Stroke Association before moving back among friends as director of fundraising at I Can in May 2013. It was a role I was desperate to get, so it was a proud moment. It's big role with lots to achieve – I'm relishing it.
Andrew Ball is director of fundraising at the children's communication charity I Can