Arthur Rank Hospice Charity (ARHC) supports people in Cambridgeshire who are living with a life-limiting illness and those who need end-of-life care.
First established in 1981 as the ‘Friends of Arthur Rank House’ it started out as a small charity set up to support the operational costs of delivering hospice services. Today, ARHC employs just under 200 staff and cares for more than 3000 patients annually. Services are delivered from the Hospice in Cambridge, the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech and in patient’s own homes through the Arthur Rank Community team.
ARHC has moved from raising £1.5million in 2012 to now needing to secure £8.1million annually. Nearly 50 percent of this is raised through fundraising activities including events, gifts in wills, corporates, grants and trusts and the generosity of our community.
This has been a huge step change for the fundraising team, led by Donna Talbot who was promoted from Fundraising and Marketing Manager to Director of Fundraising and Communications.
Lynn Morgan, Chief Executive of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, wanted to support Donna with leadership training during this significant transition period for the fundraising team. As a charity, the organisation was able to benefit from a fifty percent funded place on the Women’s Leadership Programme; which helps women to strengthen their leadership skills, develop their confidence and grow their network.
The part-funded place is sponsored by The Blossom Charity, which supports women in the East of England to be the best they can be. It is open to female managers and directors working within social enterprises, charities and not-for-profit organisations in the region. The aim is to make the course more accessible to local organisations which may not have had the budget to develop their talent pipeline in this way.
Donna Talbot said: “During the programme, I was promoted from Fundraising and Marketing Manager to Director of Fundraising and Communications. This was a wonderful achievement yet presented situations where I would question my ability or judgement. The programme allowed me to strip away some of these concerns and apply the techniques I have learnt. The sessions are carefully designed and were as applicable to me in the voluntary sector as it was for those in the commercial sector. I felt I could relate to the breadth of information covered and furthermore, it encouraged me to learn more about myself. This has allowed me to understand why I react in a particular way and, ultimately, how I can get the best out of others to ensure that as a charity we have the funds available to continue to be able to deliver the best possible care to our patients and their families, the ultimate reason ARHC exists.”
Now the Director of a much larger fundraising team, which has grown from a team of five to a team of 18, Donna continues to reflect on what she learnt through the programme and uses the information she gleaned to work through challenging situations.
Donna added: “The benefits of the programme were immediately obvious, including the ease of applying the learning to real examples I was experiencing. I was able to break down and work through situations which I was struggling to understand. This allowed me the time to reflect on the bigger picture and to fully appreciate what the overarching question was, which wasn’t always immediately obvious. It also helped to understand how my behaviours influence others and how as a leader I could be effective whilst also celebrating and developing my strengths and addressing or accepting my weaknesses.
“Perhaps the greatest outcome has been enrolling in an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management. The two-year course has pushed me to experience pressure not previously encountered and I believe I am rising to the challenge alongside my demanding work schedule. I draw much strength from the people who inspired me on the Women’s Leadership Programme and I have continued to meet with the group when opportunities arise.”