Personal account

Natasha Robinson, corporate partnerships executive at Help the Hospices, gets butterflies

Natasha Robinson, corporate partnerships executive, Help the Hospices
Natasha Robinson, corporate partnerships executive, Help the Hospices

- The best advice I've had

When things are getting a bit stressful or there seems to be too much to do in one day, I try to remember what a former colleague said to me: "Just try to focus on the end result." When lots of things are happening at once and obstacles appear, stopping and thinking about why you are doing what you are doing and the people you are doing it for can really help. My memories of the summer I spent working in a hospice and the amazing people I met there really help me to do that.

- The biggest challenge I've faced

One of the most difficult aspects of corporate fundraising is presenting to a room full of people. Having everyone's eyes on you and being the focus of people's attention is pretty daunting when you're under pressure to deliver, trying to remember your presentation and attempting not to trip over anything at the same time. And then there is the 'does anyone have any questions' moment. As with anything, you gain confidence the more you do it, but I don't think the butterflies will ever go away.

- My greatest hit

Working on the Help the Hospices corporate partnership with KPMG, which raised more than £1.2m. It was a real insight working with such a huge organisation and its corporate social responsibility team. Despite the size of the partnership, it was the personal moments that were the most memorable: for example, getting an email from an employee in a KPMG office in Ipswich to say it had taken on one of my ideas - a Grand National sweepstake to raise money for the local hospice.

- My worst moment

Trying - and failing - to assemble an exhibition stand at an event when I was working at EveryChild. I was flummoxed by the combination of having put it up only once before, trying to do it on my own and not being very tall.

Another low point was going through my tour of duty as Help the Hospices' Sunny Sunflower mascot for a cheque handover. The sunflower head is very heavy and hot and not good for someone who is more than a little claustrophobic.

- My top tip

Share ideas and talk to the people around you. It is always better to talk to someone - even if it's just to let off steam.

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