Spreading the kidney message in Scotland – a view from a regional fundraiser by Sharon Sheridan - Fundraising Manager Scotland
I joined Kidney Research UK almost six months ago and have been on an absolute whirlwind learning curve! I never realised how important our kidneys are until I joined, and now it’s all I talk about to everyone and anyone who will listen. Even when a fire alarm went off at 2am in a hotel I was staying at and I introduced the charity to about 20 pyjama clad guests!
My first big public awareness and fundraising event that I’ve been involved with was our flagship Scottish event – the Glasgow Bridges Walk. Just being at the day in mid-October was an amazing experience for me.
First, to get the opportunity to hear from so many people about how important the charity is to them was just wonderful. Even more impactful on me was hearing them talk about the changes that research had made to their families from one generation to the next; it really overwhelmed me. One person actually described the charity as family to them because the work that we do has made such an impact on their family through generations of kidney disease. Hearing all this made me really quite emotional.
Secondly, seeing everyone being piped off at the start line was extremely special. Hundreds of people – patients, children, families, dogs – donning their purple wigs, purple kilts and purple t-shirts, all coming together to walk all over kidney disease in Scotland. There was a real sense of pride as these people knew that by taking part in the walk, they were helping to make a difference to people living with kidney disease. Everyone was so excited knowing that their fundraising was going to make that difference, and I was equally encouraged to have conversations about the potential impact their fundraising would have on the amount of research we could fund – in Scotland and beyond.
The third thing that struck me was how well everyone worked together to make the event happen. Everyone in the charity just seemed to embrace it – whether staff or volunteers. Nothing was too much trouble in terms of asks that were made and people went above and beyond their role to make a huge success of the day.
Although I am new to my job, I’m SUPER proud to work for such an ambitious and dedicated charity. Although we are small, I feel that Kidney Research UK punches above its size in its impact; it continues to take huge steps to raise awareness and to fundraise, all the while keeping an eye on the goal – to see a world free from kidney disease.
I’m really looking forward to developing more relationships here in Scotland that will enable us to continue the ground-breaking research that we are funding.
We are an amazing charity and I would love to hear from people that want to fundraise or volunteer to help us continue to make a difference to all those living with kidney disease. So please, get in touch today! Tel: 0300 303 1100.