CAREERS: How I Got Here - Giles Meyer, director of fundraising, FARM-Africa

What was your first job?

My first full-time role in the voluntary sector was as the first employee of The Redress Trust, which was set up to improve international human rights law. As the only paid member of staff, I did everything from setting up the office to bookkeeping.

What does your current role involve? My job involves developing FARM-Africa's fundraising programme so it becomes less reliant on statutory income and has more flexibility to increase its work in Africa.

Roughly outline your career path? After The Redress Trust, I joined the fundraising team at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in 1993 and then moved to Mencap in 1995. I had a brief stint at Whizz-Kidz in 1999 before moving to Dublin a year later to become general manager of fundraising at Enable Ireland. During my time there, I was campaign director of the euro conversion campaign and director at the Fundraising Institute of Ireland. I returned to England in October to join FARM-Africa and fulfil my ambition of working for an overseas development agency.

What training or course has most enhanced your career?

I attended an Irish-American fundraising exchange programme run by Boston College. This two-week course took place in Boston and Seattle and gave a me real insight into fundraising in the US.

What is your biggest career regret? When I was 23 years old I was offered a job setting up a series of abseil events in Cape Town for the South Africa Hospice Association but turned it down. It was only a six-month contract but I had also been offered a full-time post in London and took the easy option. I regret it to this day.

Are there any charities you support financially? Co-operation Ireland, a community centre in Streatham, London, FARM-Africa and Mencap in Liverpool.

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