Life in the fast lane
Laura Mackintosh is head of fundraising for Highlands and Western Isles for The Archie Foundation.
I get up around 6am-6.30am and always start my day with fasted cardio and even hill sprints if I’m feeling energetic, or sometimes I go on the turbo trainer if I’m a little more subdued. I find this is a great way to clear my head and get ready for what the day will bring.
I leave for work when my youngest daughter heads to school and I am lucky because I live five minutes away from Raigmore Hospital where I’m based. I try to plan my days the night before so I always come in and refresh my “to-do” list.
Next, I open my e-mails and deal with any priorities. Working in the charity sector is more demanding than people anticipate – there are deadlines and targets that need to be met in every aspect of my job.
Whether it’s organising large events or functions or helping fundraisers complete their challenges.
We also run two cafes in Inverness and these take up a great deal of time in terms of marketing and promotion.
I love my job – it’s not often you can see directly where your hard work goes, but every time I go to the Highland Children’s Unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and see the difference ARCHIE has made to so many sick children, it makes me very proud to work for the organisation.
Lunchtimes just now are a case of snacking on the go. My afternoons are spent out and about promoting our latest Virtual Challenge to local businesses.
The challenge involves teams of five walking 603 miles, the distance between John O’Groats and Lands End during the month of September, all whilst raising essential funds to help create a better environment for sick kids in the Highlands.
To be fair, I’ll have probably walked the distance myself during this promotion phase.
During the afternoons, I spend my time catching up with e-mails, perhaps a visit to the Highland Children’s Unit to speak to staff or often I am out meeting with fundraisers to thank them for the wonderful job they do.
I always end my day by checking through my to-do list and getting organised for the challenges of my next day’s work.
I’m very lucky in my job because I can get home in time to see my daughter come in from school. We usually have a chat about her day and a snack then I’ll work from home in the afternoon. Having an employer who is flexible around family commitments is hugely important to me.
As I can work from home in the afternoon, my working day can be fluid and I’ll work until everything is done. Once work is complete, I like to make sure dinner is ready so we can have a family meal together.
My evenings are spent teaching or taking part in kickboxing, which has been a passion of mine for over 10 years. I also love getting to the gym or doing a nice run somewhere quiet and away from it all.
Given my role, there are often functions to attend in the evenings and I love being able to speak to local groups about what ARCHIE does to help the whole community across the Highlands.
We also get invited along to some really fun events such as the Belladrum Tartan Heart festival near Beauly, which has been a big supporter of ARCHIE for many years, and we are truly grateful for their ongoing backing.