Personal account: Kate Mitchell

The British Heart Foundation's events project manager keeps on smiling.

Kate Mitchell, events project manager, British Heart Foundation
Kate Mitchell, events project manager, British Heart Foundation

- The best advice I've had

When discussing with a colleague the challenges of working in fundraising events, we agreed how it can sometimes be really difficult to be enthusiastic and bubbly all the time, particularly when you are absolutely exhausted and have had a tough day. The best piece of advice that was offered was the simplest: keep a smile on your face regardless of how you are feeling. By doing this, you will make others around you smile too and this, in turn, makes you feel the same - as if by magic, everyone feels better again.

- The biggest challenge I've faced

Taking a group of trekkers to Everest base camp earlier this year. Because I had never trekked at altitude or taken part in a trek in such extreme conditions before, I was really anxious to ensure that I was totally prepared, both physically and mentally. I spent several months training hard to raise my fitness, as well as spending lots of time researching and buying all the kit that was required for the event. In the office, I provided guidance to the supporters taking part. The trek itself was also challenging but was a phenomenal experience.

- My greatest hit

This year we ran a bespoke overseas challenge for one of our corporate partners. It was a totally new concept to the company, and at some points during the preparation and fundraising it looked as if the event might not go ahead. However, we pulled everything together and the event was a huge success.

- My worst moment

Getting sick on the second day of the Everest base camp trek. After all that preparation, I was struck down with some nasty bug, which totally wiped me out. Luckily, thanks to the trek doctor, I was back on my feet within 24 hours.

- My top tip

Supporters like to know that their fundraising efforts are appreciated, no matter how large or small. Make sure you always say thank you to every single supporter you speak to, on the phone or face to face. Make sure they know that what they have done will make a difference to the charity they have chosen to support and that the staff care about this. Remember the old saying: count the pennies and the pounds look after themselves.

- Interview by Annie Kelly.


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