Wesser Launches Local Fundraising

This summer marked the exciting moment when months of planning came together and our new local fundraising department was set up. Headed by Michael Macdonald, Jason Maxwell and Jim Hill the new section is intended to offer those who want to fundraise the opportunity to do so without having to move away from home.

Initially we’ve opened teams in Manchester, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Glasgow and we are looking for motivated and enthusiastic Fundraisers and Team Leaders who live in these areas to join us in making this new venture a success!

Teams will work 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, making their own way to a meeting point in the city centre before being driven by the company to the area they’re fundraising in that day. As with our live-in side door-knocking finishes at 8, after which the teams are then taken back into the city centre.

It’s early days but the team have big plans to expand the local side of things to other locations across the country so watch this space!

(If you would like to join a local fundraising team visit our recruitment site at www.wesser.co.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Michael Macdonald – Regional Campaign Manager

The Wesser Mission and Vision Workshop

On the 14th September employees from all departments at Wesser UK got together to take part in our first ever Mission and Vision workshop. A day dedicated to identifying what drives us as a business and what makes Wesser a great place to work.

Human Resources Administrator Michelle Amos, wrote a brief overview of the day especially for the Wesser Blog:

I was invited to attend the company Mission & Vision Workshop on Thursday 14th September where we were tasked with creating a vision and mission that reflects the important work we do at Wesser. I think the fact that employees were invited, is testament to what a great company we work for, and shows that Martin Wesser really values our input. The workshop was run by Piers Fallowfield–Cooper, an executive coach and mentor who has coached and developed high performing executives from all over the world. Piers had asked us to prepare for the workshop by considering a few questions; who were 2 leaders we respected? If we could be any historical, mythological or movie character who would we be? And what companies we like, respect or do business with? As Piers predicted, this provoked a lot of discussion in the office; some people knew their answers straight away, but most of struggled and had to really think about it, which then prompted many of us to ask ourselves why we didn’t know who we respect and why! I think we all got there eventually, all with very different but very interesting answers.

On the day, to start off with, we talked about some of the leaders that people respected and the reasons why. It was apparent that the traits of these leaders were similar in the sense that they had a clear view of their direction and the direction of their companies or organisations. We talked about the companies that people respect or like to do business with. Again the reasons why were along the same lines. We then looked at some different companies including John Lewis and Apple with mission and vision statements that stand out from the crowd. Piers talked to us about the Why, How and What. What we do and how we do it as a company is straightforward, but working out why can sometimes be the hardest part. So we split into our smaller groups for the day and started working this out. Most groups thought about words that they connected with Wesser. Some of the words that came up numerous times were; family, integrity, ethical, welcoming, the best, morals and unique which are all excellent terms for employees to identify with Wesser.

After lunch, in our groups we started working on putting our vision and mission together. This was very challenging; however, when each group presented their ideas, there were some really impressive results.

Although we did not create a final Vision and Mission during the workshop, together we have made a great start, from which we will create an inspiring and memorable vision for the business. Thank you to Martin for inviting us to be part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Michelle Amos – Human Resources Administrator

A Day In The Life of a Wesser Fundraiser

Waking up:

10:00am: my alarm goes off and it is time for another day. Typically breakfast consists of some toast, or a bowl of coco pops usually does the job. Some of my team mates like to wake up earlier, some even later!

 

Getting ready to leave:

A time is specified by the Team Leader the day before (usually around 11am) to be ready to leave the house to get to the fundraising area for the day. Everyone fills their bags with supporter packs and first aid guides knowing it is going to be an epic day!! The area maps are handed out and I decide which street I will start on. On the journey in I play music and everyone sings along regardless of how cheesy or embarrassing the music may be, hitting the mute button occasionally to have a laugh with the people singing along.

 

Arriving at area:

I will be dropped off by the team driver who always arranges a time and place to meet for lunch. I fill out my paperwork before knocking on my first door where I’ll meet interesting people and find out about what is going on locally. Having some knowledge about what is going on locally always helps with building rapport with the neighbours!

 

Lunch: 4:00-5:00:

The team meets up for lunch to discuss any funny stories from the morning and to motivate each other. Everyone compares results; I head back out knowing that the evening is going to be even better than the morning because the sun has decided to shine!

 

Evening:

I start knocking on doors again at 5 and keep going up till 8-9pm and then return back to the team. Usually, the evening period is the most productive part of the day as people are coming home from work so now is the time to really step up to the plate!

 

Returning home:

Once all Fundraisers are back in the car we make our way home with more singing and chatting, when we arrive back home it has to be decided what to do with the evening. The team usually cooks a meal together in the house and chill out in front of the TV, head to town or go out for a meal depending on what everyone fancies at the time. I tend to stay up quite late because I don’t have to get up till 10am when most people have already arrived at work. The next day my alarm goes off and it is time for another exciting day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by: Greg Taylor – Fundraiser

Wesser Fundraising Seminar Sports Day

This weekend (05th/6th August) Wesser hosted the end of summer Fundraising Seminar in Solihull, West Midlands. The event included, workshops, first aid training, awards and the first “Wesser Olympics” sports day!

Check out the highlights from what could certainly be described as an “unconventional sporting event”

Article by: Oliver Steele – Advertising and Branding Manager

 

Top tips for fundraising success!

 

As a top performer in Wesser, you can imagine I get asked “how do you do it Faye? Whats your secret?” endless amounts of times; each time I answer differently. There is no secret. I really can’t pin point the direct things that influence my performance but there are most definitely a few factors that seem to come up quite frequently – so why not try to coherently put them in writing?

 

1. Go Vegan

Okay so maybe this isn’t for everyone, but I guess what it stems from is “do what you believe in”. I have always been passionate about the environment and taking care of my body when it comes to food and exercise, yet more often than not I find myself blinking and a 12 pack of crisps have somehow ended up in my stomach. I seem to do well when I am concentrating on doing things that make me happy or make me feel good – and a large portion of that is being a committed vegan.

 

2. Don’t shut up

I talk a lot. It’s that simple. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are human beings and our soul purpose is interaction and making connections with people we meet, whether that is fellow fundraisers or supporters on the doors. Make friends! This comes first and then what follows is your passion for your job. Some of the best advice I can give is just make friends with the people you meet because both fundraiser and person behind the door will leave with such a good feeling and those are the people you remember – not the ones that shut the door before you whispered hello.

 

3. Train, Train, Train

As a Team Leader, I encourage my fundraisers to participate in training every day before work. They understand this is not a paid part of the day but what they benefit from the daily training is better performance. My team is one of the best quality teams in the company and that comes down to our ongoing training with hitting our monetary targets along with our KPIs to ensure successful long term support. So don’t be afraid to ask your Team Leader, they want to see you succeed!

 

4. Find your motivation

Whether that is money, St John Ambulance/Cymru or St Andrews First Aid – find your why. If you don’t know why you are doing this job, you won’t be doing it for long. Make some goal boards, some smart goals, anything to keep your motivation up and urgency even higher.

 

5. Remove all limitations

I have met some fundraisers that only bring a certain amount of supporter forms on the doors with them. Having that physical barrier puts up a mental block and it sounds silly but it really can stop you from reaching your full potential. Every day you go out, always look for one more. Some people set a goal like “8 today” and others go by “just one more” after each supporter, so find the way that works for you.

 

Last but not least….

 

6. Team work

We all know this job can be hard, so work with your team. Stay positive, make sure you are keeping moral high and remove all negativity! Have good conversations, spread love and drink responsibly!

 

Everybody can have bad days (I still have the odd zero) but with more experience comes confidence, and with confidence comes supporters, and with support comes breaking your own mental barriers.

 

I joined Wesser in September 2016 and up until this year, my best week had been less than 25 supporters and my best day was 8, with only 2 of these days since I joined. I had built myself a mental barrier!

 

In June I hit 33 processed supporters for a staggering £4026 (For St John Ambulance) in one week, breaking Wesser records for the year! (Still not quite pushing that 8 supporters per day to a 9).  2 Weeks later I had a sense of urgency to hit my minimum supporter numbers after having 2 days off and achieved 10 in a single day!

 

Always strive to do better than your best.

 

 

 

 

 

Article by: Faye Lightfoot – Team Leader – Horley

My Wesser Journey So Far……….

At the middle stage of my life I was looking for a new job and wanted to move to pastures new; I was a bit stuck in a rut as sometimes you can be.

How I actually came across the Wesser opportunity I am not sure, but when reading the detail of the job I thought “that may be a great thing for me”. As an Ex-Soldier, living and working with people is something I have done before and thoroughly enjoyed.

I then looked at the company and the type of work that was involved.  Having never worked for a charity before I thought it would be a great to raise money for a cause that is close to my heart.

Since joining the company over a month ago I have attended the initial training at the company HQ and been part of multiple in-house training sessions before joining a live-in team and getting out into the big wide world of fundraising.

You meet such a variety of people on the doors, on the first day I was truly impressed by the general friendliness of people opening the door. Of course some are not so happy but in general the charity (St John Ambulance) is very well respected everywhere we seem to go and most people have had some sort of experience with all the things that St John do.

After just a few weeks I have been to a Wesser seminar. It was amazing to find out how big the company is in covering a large part of Europe. I even met the company owner Martin who has a real passion for the company and charity partners. This passion can be seen across the whole company as employees know that their hard work results in supporting amazing causes. I also benefitted from the workshops and activities focussed on delivering first class fundraising services.

This whole experience has been great; the living with others, the training and development has been astonishing. I have been meeting all levels of employee who all started at the same place as me, proving there is a great opportunity to progress into lots of other areas of the business.

All in all I was looking for a change and I think I have found the perfect place to move on in my life and career. I am surrounded by great people, doing an amazing job with excellent prospects. Even better is that I feel pride in myself as I am doing an amazing thing by helping save people’s lives by supporting St John Ambulance.

I plan to be here for a long time and keep meeting more and more great new talented people on the start of their fundraising journey!

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Gareth Whipps – Fundraiser – Warrington Team

A Day With St John Ambulance at Cheltenham Festival

I’m a big sports fan… massive. I generally would be happy to watch any sports. Football and boxing have got to be my two favorite but when it comes to atmosphere and excitement, horse racing really gives these two a run for their money (pun intended).

So imagine my delight when St John Ambulance (SJA) kindly invited someone from the Wesser team to observe the final day of the Cheltenham Festival! I was dead chuffed and set about deciding which scarf to wear with my carefully put together Cheltenham attire. I arrived bright and early to the racecourse. It’s very different at that time in the morning, with the bright sun falling across the grounds and a small buzz of people arranging the final bits for the final day. I was greeted by Kevin Dickens – a Community Fundraising Coordinator, who is my main liaison with the charity in South West England – and he introduced me to Beth, an advanced First Aider who was happy to answer my hundreds of questions.

The main base where I met them was actually rebuilt not so long ago; when it was, SJA volunteers were consulted on how it should be built to such a degree the building entrance was moved 90 degrees for easier access. In this main treatment centre you would find four beds, two doctors, some nurses, a handful of paramedics, advanced first aiders and the emergency transport guys. The ambulance crew is also based out of this centre and it’s all to look after the public and staff (jockeys have a separate private treatment centre). Rick Dean, a nurse, was one of the main people to influence this and he explained that the treatment centre could treat pretty much anything except for a major trauma.

Top of the agenda of the day was the morning briefing which I felt privileged to listen in on. Straight up, you notice how jovial everyone is (considering over the next 12 hours they will be giving first aid and, possibly, saving lives). It’s good humored and jokes were in abundance. What also struck me was the ages of the volunteers, with maybe a 50 year spread from youngest to oldest. As well as the enjoyment the guys obviously get from what they do, their instructions are clear. What amazed me the most was the code words used for preparation for evacuation and if an evacuation is cancelled. I of course cannot give this confidential information away but it was interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes of one of the country’s biggest sporting events.

Other privileged highlights were seeing the control centre with its banks of computers monitoring each and every face coming into the grounds. The control centre has police, ambulance, fire and three different security firms – not forgetting the mighty SJA! Also seeing what is the busiest helipad in Europe over those four days is also quite something; you actually see a mechanical bird landing every five minutes to drop off another celebrity!

The SJA Cycle Response Units have everything a normal ambulance has but on a bike! These guys impress me no end, being as fit as I could only dream of. Riding a bike with flashing lights and all the equipment to save a life.

Overall, what struck me the most though was the amount of hours given up over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival; 42 volunteers each day, giving up to 10 hours a day. That’s over 2,000 hours given up without even thinking about the preparation hours and the meetings afterwards. It’s a huge event for SJA but they handle it with the same great attitude and professionalism as any other events. These green jacketed men and women truly are heroes – on call and ready for anything from heart attacks and broken bones to infected corns and people who have drunk one to many glasses of champagne!

If I had won some money too, it would have been a perfect day, but I will settle for truly inspirational one.

 

Article by James Dennis – Snr Fundraising Campaign Coach

From Summer Job to Student Ambassador

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wesser, The job was great fun and taught me a lot about charity fundraising while building my confidence when dealing with the general public!

Joining a live-in team for the summer made the whole experience much more than just a job and it meant I had a great social life during summer even though I was away from home.

I really enjoyed the company seminars and the numerous incentive events. It was also great meeting loads of incredible people who taught me so much.

I was offered the opportunity to become a student ambassador during term time. Doing this I learnt a whole new set of skills as well as being able to work flexibly around uni and earn good money.

Since leaving Wesser I have been able to utilize the experience I gained to secure a years internship with a leading recruitment consultancy making the experience all the more worthwhile!

Ellie Sawyer – Fundraiser and Student Ambassador

More than just a summer job!

I worked for Wesser on behalf of St Johns Ambulance during summer 2016. I began the job with very little confidence; I was assigned a team that at the start were strangers yet became more like family by the time of my parting.

The training on the first few days -performed by my Team Leader- was incredibly insightful, I got to see with my own eyes what it was really like to be so passionate about a campaign that raising money wasn’t a chore but an honour. This is an aspect I took away with me, as the weeks went by I grew more and more proud of the changes I was making for the charity, simply by speaking to the people of the community, making friends.

You do get people open the door with a few brief curses and then slam it back on you, however those who wait, ask questions or even invite you in make it all the more worth it. I met some of the most aspirational people in my life that I would not of otherwise met and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

Seeing my name rise up through the leaderboard of the company not only inspired me to carry on pushing myself day to day, more to the point, created a light competitive side between colleagues that delivered to the charity more well deserved donations. I reached top in the UK by my 6th week with the company, that’s how quickly you can progress.

I would never say someone couldn’t do this job, as I didn’t truly believe I could myself, though with the achievement I made and the awards I gained, I can proudly say I smashed it. Something I’ve never given myself credit for before.

Review by Samuel Swahm – Student/Charity Fundraiser

Wesser Student Job Review – Laurene

During my second year of university I applied to be a door to door fundraiser with Wesser. I have always been keen to work with charities and I saw this as a great opportunity to help St John Ambulance. The role also appealed to me as it fit well with the summer break and meant I could save money for the final year of university.

On the day I left home to go to the training session I was really nervous. It was quite daunting to know that I would be living with strangers for six weeks and knocking on people’s doors! However, my time with Wesser was so much fun! Everyone is so lovely and welcoming. Furthermore door knocking can be really enjoyable. As a team member you are always learning new skills and improving. I learnt how to communicate with every type of person and it really built my confidence. In the end I stayed for 10 weeks because I enjoyed it so much.

The help I have received from the Wesser Foundation is absolutely invaluable. The foundation helped fund a veterinary internship which will enhance my application to vet school in 2018. I can not thank Wesser enough for the support they have given me since I joined the team.

Laurene Lambert – Fundraiser – Summer 2016