I picked the best month to do my internship at Anthony Nolan. (A charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer or blood disorders). I have now started my third week and last Friday was the annual staff picnic. This is a day where the whole charity comes together (minus vital staff required to keep the charity running) to look at what has been happening over the past year and what the goals are for the coming one. This lead to a gathering of around 300 people in the great hall of London Metropolitan University.
The morning started off with a speech from the CEO. She was very uplifting about what has been achieved over the last year, such as the charity being in the Sunday Times Top 100 not-for-profits to work for and achieving a one-star accreditation in the Sunday Times Best Companies annual ranking. She also was very positive with the goals for the future, ultimately a three-star accreditation and a higher rank.
In the course of the morning there was also a speech from a transplant recipient. Her story really brought home the reason why what Anthony Nolan does is so amazing. Without the bone marrow register she would not have been up there giving that speech.
There was also a Q&A with the Senior management team with questions that ranged from the light-hearted ‘What did you want to be when you grew up?’ to ‘How is Brexit going to impact the company?’. Then there was a chance for all of the different departments to showcase what it is that they do. Most used comedic videos to achieve this, such as filming from a camera strapped to the back of a dog and making it into a silent film. This was great and it showed me that despite the serious work that they do they sure know how to have fun.
After all this was done everybody migrated to Hampstead Heath to have a picnic. Despite having to queue for 20 minutes to get my sandwiches this was a great opportunity to get to know my co-workers a little better and was a very enjoyable experience. If you are reading this blog because you are thinking of doing charity insights I cannot recommend highly enough taking opportunities to socialise as knowing your colleagues makes the whole experience more enjoyable and far less scary.