Our Head of Fundraising and Communications Emma Johnson talks us through a very busy day in her life at Auditory Verbal UK:

The day begins about 7.45am with me squeezing on to the last carriage of a SWR service into Waterloo. The Jubilee line is behaving itself so I get to work by 8.30am and have the first of my many cups of Earl Grey tea of the day.

As Head of Fundraising and Communications I oversee two small but vital teams. AVUK is not in receipt of any government funding so apart from the money we earn through service provision we rely on the good will of our supporters to fund our work with deaf babies and children and their families. Wide reaching Comms and PR helps us to reach new supporters too and to spread the word about the successes of our beneficiaries. I oversee a team of five and ensure that we are working towards our organisational objectives and ambitious fundraising targets.

I have just over an hour at my desk, checking and answering emails, then I leave to join my CEO, Anita at the central London offices of one our longest-serving Trust and Foundation Supporters, The MariaMarina Foundation. It’s an opportunity for a catch up with our grant managers Jo and Samira, as we are midway through a generous three year grant. It is also a chance to talk about which of our wonderful beneficiary families we will be taking with us to their celebration event in November.

Anita has come from an assembly at a North London Collegiate Junior Girls School where we are Charity of the Year.

Back at the office it’s a day of meetings and planning. And tea. Lots and lots of Earl Grey tea…

12pm Fundraising and Comms team meeting: I love a team meeting! It’s an opportunity for everyone to participate, to share best practice, and good news and discus priorities for the coming month. We’re a small office but the work is fast paced so it’s a chance to catch up and discus things that might otherwise go under people’s radar. For instance, Emma, our Relationships Manager is working on an impact report which will be of great interest to our new Trust and Foundations Manager, so they share some thoughts on what it might include.  

2pm: A quick chat with Fiona our PR Manager (pictured left with Emma on Loud Shirt Day) who is liaising with a famous singer from the 90’s who has written a Christmas song for AVUK. Excitingly, we have an opportunity to ask our AVUK children to sing on the record. Fiona plans some quick communications to our alumni families to see who would like to take part. 

3pm: BBC Lifeline appeal meeting: Becky, our Communications Manager and I go through our presentation for the BBC Lifeline Charity meeting. It will be to about 40 people from charities who will be taking part in the appeal this year. They have invited us back as we were the most successful campaign of 2018, raising just over £48,000 (go us!) Becky has put together a funny and informative presentation which we practice a couple of times. It’s hard to believe that this took place a year ago but it’s lovely to rewatch the film and see our amazing families talking about AVUK and what it means to them.

4pm: Late yesterday afternoon I took a call from another of our trusts supporters asking if we could put in a very quick application to their next trustee meeting at a week’s notice. This is brilliant news! They will consider giving us £30,000 again, so we meet to plan an application in time for their deadline. ‘We’ in this case is me and our new Trusts Manager, Joanna who has been with us for just over a month.

Then, I get my head down to work on a report and another application which have deadlines of next week, after checking in with Alex, our Communications Assistant, about a web article he is working on.

5.30pm: I head off to a quiet night in, finishing off my homework for the children’s writing course I’m taking at the moment. I definitely work in the right place for inspiration!