FUNDRAISING NEWS: Why I Give

Sally Lilley is part of the shift management team at one of five Crisis Open Christmas shelters. She co-ordinates around 2,500 volunteers to help provide services over Christmas.

Are there any particular causes or organisations you support?

About 11 years ago, I had just moved to London and didn't want to go home for Christmas. I phoned Crisis to offer help and I have been hooked ever since.

Approximately how much time do you give?

Normally, about 15 days a year. Between 23 and 30 December, I do eight days at the shelters. I also attend training courses such as first aid, and communication skills, and organise social events to keep volunteers in touch.

Do you consider new approaches from charitable organisations?

I used to support other homelessness and Third World organisations, but Crisis is my main involvement now. Crisis pays me for short-term projects, but I would like to work full-time in the voluntary sector. You feel better about yourself.

What is a good way to approach you?

Direct mail is the best, but TV ads are also good - my ears prick up to TV ads. The volunteer work is humbling and satisfying. You can see that you are helping someone, and I know that appeals to a lot of volunteers.

What is the most annoying thing about being approached?

I don't like being approached in the street, especially when there are a number of unco-ordinated charities. One trip to the bank with several approaches is bad.

Visit Open Christmas at www.crisis.org.uk.

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