Hello to all our alumni and supporters!
It’s lovely to be writing my first blog to you in my new role as Head of Fundraising and Communications! I thought it would be nice to tell you a little bit about me, as you will now be hearing from me each month about all things African Adventures Foundation.
My name is Rachel, and I’ve been with African Adventures now for 7.5 years, starting in volunteer recruitment and then moving into communications and marketing. A lot of my background is in charity, so I jumped at the chance to work more closely with our charity work; it is such an important contributor to our partner project support.
Reflecting on the past year
As I am sure it has for many of you, the lockdown has changed my life a lot over the past 12 months! I have two young boys and a big portion of the last year has been spent homeschooling my eldest, whilst trying to entertain my youngest – not something I have excelled at! However, the extra time together as a family has been a bonus, and something I am grateful for.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be getting stuck into some work for African Adventures Foundation – it feels more important now than ever before. Over the past year, our supporters’ generosity has allowed us to fund food parcels and feeding programmes at our partner projects when they most needed it, ensuring that the children we support and their families had a reliable source of food during a time of high economic uncertainty. However, there is still much more to be done, and I’m really looking forward to making sure the Foundation continues to have a meaningful impact at our partner projects over the coming months.
I really look forward to connecting with many of you – interaction with our supporters is something I have missed greatly, and I can’t wait to get chatting with you!
So, a couple of interesting facts about me…I turned 40 during lockdown and I am keen to enjoy a proper celebration when restrictions are relaxed. To mark this big year, I have got a place in the London Marathon – something I thought I would never say! Running has been a big comfort for me over the past year: it has been a way to stay in touch with friends and a good way to get some headspace. Any other keen runners out there? I would love to hear from you… Until recently, I had never run more than 10k, but I now have a couple of half marathons under my belt. This is a big thing for me as I have had three major knee operations over the past few years – I just hope my knees can withstand all the miles I will be doing before October!
My proper training plan starts in June and I will be keeping you updated about how it is all going. I had to take this opportunity to fundraise for African Adventures Foundation, so I have set up a sponsorship page. If you enjoy hearing about my running journey, please support me and push me on with my efforts by donating a few quid to African Adventures Foundation – it would mean a great deal to me, and of course to our partner projects.
Looking to the future
As I write this, I am looking out of the window at the tulips and daffodils growing in my garden and the sun shining down: it is hard not to feel a little bit of hope and positivity at life starting to return to some kind of normality. Meanwhile, tough times continue for many, not least our friends in Africa, and we will be looking at what we can do to support them in the coming months. If you can help us, please do – a little can go a long way.
All the best for the next few weeks and I will be in touch again in May.