Day in the life: Charity coordinator

My morning:
Typically I get up about 7am, shower and have breakfast, watch the morning news and leave for work around 8.15am, depending on where I’m working. At the moment we have two young puppies in the house so we have to walk them first thing. I’m not enjoying going out in the dark, cold or snowy mornings, but I don’t think they like it much either.

On a “normal” day I’d be in Ballater which is about a 35 to 40 minute drive, but on Thursdays I’m in Banchory which is about an hour, so I leave a little earlier. I work 9 to 5pm normally, but this can vary depending on if I’m giving a talk or presentation in the evening, or attending a fundraising event.

Today is a Thursday, which means I’m in Banchory where we operate a support and wellbeing service one day a week from 10 to 4pm. We opened up in Banchory in May 2013, in the West Church hall. The centre opens and appointments start at 10am, so I’m there at 9am to get the rooms set up.

Gemma Powell

We have a wonderful team of support volunteers in Banchory and they operate on a rota, so one of the volunteers usually arrives at 9.30am to help me. Today we have three volunteers in over the course of the day and they cover the centre for me, meeting and greeting clients and booking appointments, offering support and information to those who drop in, or just a friendly cup of tea and chat.

Once the centre is ready to open I leave the volunteers in charge and head off to Inverurie to meet the charity’s Children’s and Families Service manager as we have been invited to give a talk about CLAN to a group of volunteers, staff and clients at Homestart. Raising awareness of the support services CLAN provides is a regular part of my role and always so important, especially as we have 11 centres throughout the north-east of Scotland, and not everyone realises they have a CLAN support and wellbeing centre in their own community.

My lunchtime:
After our talk I have some posters to drop off to our base on North Street in Inverurie, so I have a quick lunch break and catch up with Fiona, our Inverurie local coordinator. I try to be organised on Thursdays and make something the night before to take for my lunch, knowing it’s normally a busy day for me.

My afternoon:
I head back to Banchory for a quick stop before continuing to Stonehaven for the afternoon. Our Stonehaven coordinator is on annual leave so I’m covering the afternoon shift. I arrive at around 1.30pm and let the morning support volunteer leave. I then check the communications book and diary appointments to check who to expect and how many afternoon appointments there are. Our reflexologist in Stonehaven finishes around 2.30pm on Thursdays so unless anyone drops in for information or support I will catch up on calls and emails. I have remote access to all our IT so I can work wherever I go, and it’s great to cover a few different areas and share ideas from one base to another.

I’ll finish up in Stonehaven at 4pm when the centre closes and head back to Banchory to help the volunteers and therapist with tidying away, and also pick up any messages or jobs to follow up. On my way back to the Banchory centre I stop in to the Milton of Crathes Brasserie to pick up a couple of donation boxes and replace them with empty ones. Our donation boxes raise a significant part of our income throughout the year and we’re grateful to all the local businesses who support us by having them.

My evening:
By 5pm we’re all packed up in Banchory and tonight I’m heading back to Ballater to help our Ballater Friends of CLAN fundraising group with their pub quiz night, so I’ll stop and get something to eat and meet the ladies at 7pm in the Glenaden Hotel. They have everything under control so I generally just help with marking, be there with leaflets and information on CLAN, meet and greet people and thank them for coming along and give a vote of thanks to those who organised the event for us.

The quiz is usually finished up around 9.30 or 10pm, so I should be home before 11pm and have time for a cup of tea and catch up with my boyfriend and a little play time with the dogs before we all head for bed.  It’s not very often I have such long days, sometimes it’s just the way dates work out, but I love the variety in my job and wouldn’t change a thing. Tomorrow I’m in our Ballater centre and I’ll take the morning off and have a shorter day to balance it out.

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