I'm a student midwife at Staffordshire University, I'm off to Ghana in 6 months, and have started fundraising (help!). It's tough fitting everything in at the moment! I've tried a few different angles on the fundraising, and they all take a bit of time. If I'm not working on an assignment, I'm writing a blog post, organising a fundraising activity, or writing a letter asking for sponsorship. It's been overwhelming, and I've had times where I can't see how I'm going to manage to do everything without compromising my studies.
When I started to panic, I sat down and did a timeline, I put all the fundraising activities in different months, and put the steps needed to organise things into different days. I never get a day off, but I'm only doing one thing per day, whether it's writing a couple of letters or a blog post, or a presentation. It makes it look manageable.
I've promised myself never to think about the total amount I need to raise, but only to look at the amount I've raised so far!
There are 3 of us in my cohort travelling with Work the World, so we started off by organising a home baked cake sale together, which went really well, the cakes were very popular with the lecturers and the students (the librarians went crazy!). Next I tried writing to local groups like Lions Club, Round Table and Rotary, as well as a local Trust that makes grants to individuals. I asked Work the World for their list of grants available, found the Iolanthe Trust Midwifery awards and spent quite a lot of time preparing my application for their grant of £1,000. I'm not very hopeful that I'll get it, but I thought I'd kick myself if I didn't try!
I also wanted to do a sponsored walk, so I looked on the internet to see if there was a charity walk in my area in the next couple of months, I found one, and I'm waiting to see if they'll let me raise money for my elective, they accept community projects, but I'm not sure they'll accept me! Next, I'm reconnecting with my old secondary school. I've spoken to the Headmistress, she'll let me do a presentation for the sixth formers and get them excited to help raise some money. I'm hoping to do a supermarket bag-pack; I might need to offer a free T-shirt and lunch to get them interested!
In the meantime, I'm selling half my stuff on EBay, midwifery textbooks that I don't use much, DVD box sets that I probably won't watch again, novels, and my best dresses, including my wedding dress! I've had to ditch sentimentality, and being attached to my possessions, I'm taking a Buddhist approach, and taking a deep breath just before I hit the Sell Now button.
So this is what I've made so far:
Cake Sale: £30
Lions Club: £200
Local Trust: £100
I've still got 6 months to go, and I know I'm going to get there. I'll keep you posted on my progress, and what works!
This blog was written by Caroline Corcoran, midwifery student at Staffordshire University. Read Caroline's full blog here.