My Week: Lucy Carter takes on everything - except mouse kebab

The chief executive of Sound Seekers, the charity that helps people in Africa with hearing loss, recounts her week

Lucy Carter spends her week filling out spreadsheets, writing publicity material and travelling to Malawi
Lucy Carter spends her week filling out spreadsheets, writing publicity material and travelling to Malawi

Monday I start the week battling with a huge budget spreadsheet for a Department for International Development proposal. It's for a project to deliver hearing care to people in southern Malawi, where there is almost no support for this type of scheme. But this is the fourth different budget template for a fourth possible funder - I wish there was a standard format. At least it's not as bad as the one where we had to copy all the text from Excel into Word.

Tuesday We are a small team and live near each other, so one day a week we work together at each other's houses and do a proper cooked lunch. Today it's butternut squash and stilton risotto, with lots of chat in the garden before getting back to endless spreadsheets.

Wednesday I spend much of the day chasing people who have said they'll do something for Sound Seekers and haven't so far. I'm beginning to fear they think I'm stalking them. I'm also getting excited about going to Malawi at the end of the week to launch a full audiology service.

Thursday Jubilation - the main hospital in Malawi finally confirms it is happy with the memorandum of understanding and will definitely sign it at the launch of the service. Leading a small charity means being flexible, so this afternoon I sort out the payroll, finalise the documentation needed to ship two-thirds of a tonne of audiological equipment to Africa, write publicity material for a fundraising concert featuring the British Army Corps of Music and talk to our chair about plans for our board review. I make tea for the office, stirred with a knife - where are the spoons?

Friday I run frantically around finishing things off before I head off to Malawi. There's more slogging away at the budget, activity log, project plan and communications planner for this proposal. I then head to Heathrow Airport full of energy. The team has dared me to eat a mouse kebab, a local snack in Malawi. I hate to turn down a dare, but I might have to draw the line at cooked mouse.

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