Catch up with our Fundraising Team Lead, Ollie, and read about everything involved in our coveted events, from fitness fundraising to the Big Build Ball!
We sat down with our amazing Fundraising Team Lead, Ollie, to find out more about his team, important fundraising events, and how people can get involved in fundraising for Charlie House! Ollie has been with Charlie House since July 2021, originally starting in the Grants and Trust department, and now leads a team of 3 Fundraising Coordinators.
What does a typical day look like for you at Charlie House, and what aspects of the role do you enjoy the most?
"I always laugh when someone asks me this question, because in all honesty there is no typical day when you’re a fundraiser - every day is different! In just a single day you can find yourself going from “welly boots” and your Charlie House t-shirt at a Highland Show to ending your day suited and booted at a large Corporate event/fundraiser. That variety is actually one of the things I enjoy most about the job, but the single thing I love the most is simply getting to speak and meet with people who are just so passionate about supporting Charlie House. Their enthusiasm for the cause and fantastic fundraising really motivates me and never fails to make me smile."
Could you tell us a bit more about the fundraising team at Charlie House - who do you work closely with and how do you divide up roles and responsibilities?
"We have three members of the Fundraising Team at Charlie House, including myself, David and Jenna. We all have our own areas and responsibilities that we particularly thrive in so I put a lot of trust in the team to be the point of contact for their own respective areas, which include Events, Community, Schools and Corporates. It’s not just the fundraising team I work closely with though, the whole team work closely with pretty much every team here at Charlie House including accounts, marcomms, volunteering and services - we simply couldn’t do what we do without the efforts of everyone here at Charlie House."
Charlie House has a number of fitness-related fundraising events in its calendar, why are these such a popular method of fundraising?
"Fitness-related fundraising is a fantastic way for supporters to raise funds in support of Charlie House. I think they’re so popular because they appeal to so many audiences. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete looking for a bigger challenge, a team of colleagues looking for something fun to do together out with the office, or an individual just starting their fitness journey looking to test themselves with their first 5K, our fitness-related fundraising events offer an opportunity for everyone to get involved and enjoy some incredible events while doing something amazing for a charity they love."
How are the fitness events best placed to support the Buy a Brick campaign?
"I think our fitness events and the Buy a Brick campaign sit together perfectly. It goes without saying, but £250 can be a huge donation to make all at once - so fundraising for your brick is the perfect way to still be a part of things! Don’t get me wrong, thinking up your own fundraising challenge can be hard work, and that’s why these fitness-fundraising events are so perfect. They’re a simple way for you to get involved in our Buy a Brick Campaign, have fun, and raise funds - and more often than not they’re a great challenge which can really encourage your friends and family to sponsor you!"
Why should individuals take part in a challenge and raise money to Buy a brick?
"Because this is your opportunity to make your fundraising go further. It’s the chance for you to make your own difference and directly contribute towards the Charlie House Specialist Support Centre, and a level of care that will benefit families in North East Scotland for years to come. It’s also an amazing opportunity to have your fundraising remembered, by having your name displayed within the Centre once complete."
What is your favourite fitness fundraising event and why should someone sign up?
"Oh, this is a really difficult question, but for me I’d probably have to say the Beast Race. It’s a huge challenge but sure is a lot of fun! Big hills, Mud, Obstacles and all set in the beautiful surroundings of Knockburn Loch - what’s not to like?! It really is the perfect fundraising event and I can’t wait to see all of our supporters in attendance later on this year in September!"
Are you taking part in any of the fitness fundraising key events?
"The plan at the moment is to complete one as a fundraising team - we just don’t know which one yet! I’m more into my running, David his hiking and Jenna… well? We’ll certainly be taking part in one of our events this year, time will tell with which one!"
Charlie House has recently surpassed the half-way point in its fundraising efforts for this specialist facility - what sort of things have you done so far to reach this milestone?
"Gosh where do I begin? So much of getting us to this point has be thanks to the incredible support of so many people, who all feel passionately about creating a Specialist Support Centre right here in Aberdeen. From the fundraising team’s perspective that’s been about organising events like the Big Build Ball, working with our wonderful corporate supporters, visiting and speaking with local community groups, and supporting local fundraisers who are looking to raise funds for us in a variety of innovative and exciting ways. Simply put, it’s about never letting an opportunity pass us by, and I strongly believe that at Charlie House we do make the most of every amazing opportunity that comes our way - we will do our best to make anything work!"
What have been the most rewarding or surprising aspects of the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign?
"I think it’s a combination of things really. It allows anyone to get involved in our Big Build Appeal and know exactly how their donation will make a difference - it really seems to motivate people to go above and beyond and not only raise one brick, but often two, three, four or more! It’s led to some incredibly rewarding interactions and relationships with fundraisers of all ages who have all shown some incredible efforts and passion through their fundraising once they get started. That accessibility to the campaign has led to some incredibly rewarding relationships, which I will never forget, and having the opportunity to meet so many new people is certainly one of the most rewarding aspects of this campaign."
What would it mean to you personally to see the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign reach its ultimate milestone?
"It would mean the world to me genuinely. Another step closer towards righting a wrong and providing the children and families of North East Scotland with a specialist centre that they not only need, but deserve. Another step closer towards making the dream of Charlie House a reality! Personally, I will be immensely proud of the Fundraising Team when the Centre is complete, something to look back on in years, and something we can all look back on to say we helped make a difference for families in North East Scotland for many years to come."
What would you say to urge more businesses to get involved in these impactful campaigns?
"I’d absolutely urge businesses to get involved with the Buy a Brick Campaign and take part in our fitness-related fundraising events. It’s a terrific opportunity for these businesses and their staff to enjoy an excellent team building exercise, and raise funds towards an incredible goal! We see the Buy a Brick campaign as a real community effort, we want the bricks to illustrate a real show of support from local people, groups, schools and businesses - and I would encourage any business to be a part of this movement and have their name displayed as a difference maker for the North East for years to come."
As well as taking part in a challenge and buying virtual bricks, how else can the community get involved and help this dream become reality?
"It may not sound like much, but tell people about us and our dream! And no, this isn’t necessarily about fundraising or attending an event, it’s about getting who Charlie House are and what we do out to the North East of Scotland. You could mention us to your son or daughter's teacher, speak to your boss about a lunch & learn, have us come along to speak to your community group, or even tell a friend about this blog! There are currently over 1,800 children with life-limiting conditions across the North East of Scotland, and we currently support over 120 families across the North East. While we are continuing to grow, that’s still a huge difference! The work we do currently is truly amazing, but the reality is that there are families out there who currently could be using our services, who simply don’t know about us and what we could do to support them. So talk about Charlie House, take part in one of our fundraising events, wear a Charlie House t-shirt, or simply just share this blog, and absolutely we could find another amazing opportunity to fundraise, but it could also find someone who desperately needs our support that is currently struggling alone."
You can make a BIG difference!
We don’t think it is acceptable for families to have to travel more than 100 miles to get support, respite and care when they need it. Help us build our specialist care facility for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions right here in the North-east of Scotland by buying a brick today!
You can either:
- Buy your brick outright for £250 today!
- Pay for your brick monthly. If you pay £21 per month, you will be able to purchase your brick in less than a year!
- Fundraise for your brick. Fundraising is an affordable way to buy your brick and helps to spread the word about Charlie House!