Fundraising: Me and my charity - Vanessa Whitehouse

Vanessa Whitehouse was born severely deaf and has worked at Barclays Global Investors for seven years. She is currently vice-president and is also responsible for the company's offshore funds in Dublin. She became a trustee of the RNID last year.

How did you become involved with the RNID? I have been deaf since birth and am therefore entirely aware of some of the difficulties deaf and hard-of-hearing people have in their day-to-day lives.

I was invited to join the board of the charity while on my honeymoon last November. I was really pleased to be approached and am thoroughly enjoying the role.

You can't help but come away from each meeting enthused and stimulated to achieve more. I have found all that the RNID has achieved to date quite remarkable, and we are extremely lucky to have such a powerful group of supporters behind us.

What do you do to support the charity? In terms of fundraising, I subscribe to its membership scheme. Each trustee also has a portfolio within the RNID and, given my interest in employment, I am concerned with that as well as care homes.

Before becoming a trustee of the RNID, I was active in trying to raise awareness of deafness - particularly in employment - as it is much harder for disabled people to gain access to employment.

So I set up a work experience scheme for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at the Mary Hare School for deaf children.

On a more general level, I try to raise awareness of the charity as much as I can.

Do you hold any other voluntary positions? I am now a governor at the Mary Hare School. The work experience project, which has primarily been run with Barclays Global Investors for three years, has now been extended to include other organisations both within and outside the City.

I also previously supported the Cancer Research Campaign - now Cancer Research UK - and disability charity Scope.

I have organised a few charity balls to raise funds, and I also participated in two London Marathons on behalf of charity.

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