Marilyn Peachey joined St Richard’s as Director of Fundraising in 2001. She came to this job via various other careers, including being an air stewardess and a regional campaign coordinator for the NSPCC. In her interview, she describes what it is like ‘to be lucky enough to be paid for something that is making a difference’. She praises the volunteers who put in similar effort but don’t get paid, and talks about her nine years with St Richard’s as ‘a phenomenal experience’. She discusses the move from Rose Hill to Wildwood Drive and the massive changes in fundraising with the rise of social media. Marilyn also talks about the Capital Appeal which raised the £5.25 million needed for the new hospice.
Marilyn had never been to Worcester before her interview for the Fundraising Director at St Richard’s and she’d only been to a hospice once (St Luke’s in Cornwall) but she arrived with plenty of experience in fundraising campaigns, and bags of enthusiasm and determination. However, as she explains in this extract, her spirits were a little bit dented when she discovered where she was going to be working.
One of Marilyn’s first tasks as Director of Fundraising was to start planning how St Richard’s was going to raise the funds to build the new hospice. The first stage of this was having the right people on the steering committee and most importantly, the right Chairman in place. In this extract, Marilyn talks about the type of person they were looking for, how they found him and how they progressed from there.
The early fundraisers for St Richard’s found they had to explain to people what a hospice was. By the early 2000s, Marilyn says awareness was much greater but certainly not universal. In this last extract, she marvels at the generosity of people whatever their means and says that most knew what St Richard’s was all about.