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

Wesser Summer Job Review

I worked with Wesser for just under 4 months on behalf of St John Cymru Wales. On joining the team I instantly felt like I was part of a family and the initial training was amazing. Working with Wesser is excellent because there is potential to make great money while doing something that really makes a difference in the world. Wesser were very flexible as they understood that people are often far away from their families when joining a live-in team. I was allowed plenty of time off to recharge, ready to come back and generate lots of new supporters for St John Wales. Throughout my time with Wesser I was provided endless levels of support and thoroughly enjoyed being part of a close knit team, dedicated to helping an amazing cause.

Article by: Jade Wharton – Fundraising Team Leader 2016

My Summer with the Wesser Team

Wesser was a name on paper to me when I first learned of the company in February 2016. I felt that making a great contribution to charity while being trusted to relate with people from all walks of life was an opportunity that I would sorely miss. I’m very glad to have followed that opportunity right through from interview to my final days as a fundraiser.

Before completing my days induction Wesser had already showed me how important acceptance is to the success it shares with its employees. Everyone receives the training and guidance to do great things for their charity, and for themselves, from senior employees who recognise new potential.

Each team leader recognises that potential and strives to make their team aware of how their strengths are unique. I saw a company that appreciated the value of treating its employees as important parts of a closely-nit team, I saw leaders in the company that taught newcomers how to find their own motivation and get the best out of themselves every single day of the week.

During my time in south Wales and Devon I took the opportunity to raise support for St. John Ambulance in new places, and to enjoy the beauty of my new home on my days off! During my working week I often met genuine and inspiring people who wanted to help St. John, all of whom I only ever knew for a few minutes. It was also the mix of those experiences within and without working hours that made life at Wesser so dynamic and unique.

Being invited to a Wesser seminar after my first week was a great experience: for leaning about my role in the company, meeting new team mates, and seeing how the senior management of Wesser can engage so well with even the most inexperienced of fundraisers. It was clear that seniors with responsibility dedicate enormously to recognise hard work, and to ensure every one of their colleagues are looked after well in a team that works best for them.

That first conference I attended was when I, and other students like me, were introduced to the post of becoming Wesser campus ambassadors. I now look forward to building on my experience of being a fundraiser in a completely new way; meeting new potential colleagues who want to learn how to move from strength to strength in a fresh new team just as I did.

On reflection I realised the many reasons I hold Wesser in high regard, but the greatest aspects of the company I discovered were not only whom you might meet on the job, or the benefits of relating with fast friends and colleagues from all corners of the country; it was that you can learn how to develop the best of yourself from every person you meet.

Article by: Leo Mckeever – Fundraiser and Student Ambassador