Thank you for giving up some of your precious time to do this, I know how busy you are! Let's get straight to it...
Can you tell us about yourself and what inspires you?
I work for Radio Borders, running their charity Cash for Kids, which supports disadvantaged children in our broadcast area. We grant funds to individuals as well as other children's organisations, so long as they are local, and living in poverty or with an illness or disability. I don't have to look far for inspiration. A 9 year old I met last week for example, had recently been diagnosed with a terminal condition. He's not expected to live through his teens and he is aware of that. I spent time with him and his incredibly brave family, learning about his illness so I could understand how Cash for Kids might help. As I left, he ran after me, gave me a big hug and said"Thank you for helping other children too."
What does a typical workday look like for you?
K2 in a white-out. My desk is always snowed under. In fact, by midday, there's a high risk of avalanche on to the news-desk next to mine. I am only part time and solo. Even with the help of my long-suffering colleagues, the summit always seems to be just out of reach. There's an endless range of tasks; I might be filling in a risk assessment, forecasting income or expenditure, writing a press release, processing an emergency application, dressing up as our mascot Courage the Cat, ordering disability equipment, clothing or bedding, writing thank you letters, paying bills, attending a school assembly, making a presentation, briefing volunteers, letting the listeners know what's happening with the charity. There are epic peaks and crevasses even in a day. One minute I'll have my head in my hands, looking at a massive shortfall, and the next, I'll get a call from someone who's just run a marathon for us. I am never, ever bored.
Which part of your job do you feel most passionate about?
My background is in advertising, I'm a copywriter to trade, and worked in London until I had children myself. Two days a week I still work as a freelancer. I love finding creative ways of getting a message out. (Thanks for this one by the way!) I'm so lucky to have that opportunity in both my jobs.
What tips would you give someone starting out in your industry.
Balance your head and your heart.
What's the best feedback you have ever had.
From a social worker who phoned to let a Mum know Cash for Kids funding was on its way. That phone call interrupted Mum in the act of taking her own life.
She'd become so desperate, she felt her kids would be better off without her. Just a few hundred pounds made the difference between three children having a Mum, and not.
Who do you most admire in the world and why?
People often ask me how I stop myself crying when I hear the stories of abuse and neglect, or the challenges of disabilities, bereavement or homelessness. But I am driven to tears by the generosity of people who don't have a spare penny but still stick £1 in my collection can. Or those who give up their precious time to help because through personal experience they know the true value of it. Those people I admire. And I am surrounded by them here.
Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?
"…always try and be a little kinder than is necessary." Appropriately it's from children's author, JM Barrie.
What are your future plans for Radio Borders Cash for Kids?
I have a lyric on the back of my business card: "...with a little help from my friends…" As the charity grows, I need to find more help. A voluntary committee in every locality who can run fundraisers, attend events, or support our big campaigns like Mission Christmas. I need SM and digital expertise. I need local businesses to get behind the charity, set up staff fundraising groups, I need friends to dedicate their time, energy, commitment and imagination to making sure every child in our community fulfils the potential they were born with.
Candy, that feedback, what can I say? it is amazing what you do and it all sounds pretty hektic. If any businesses or individuals would like some info on how to get involved and help please visit http://www.radioborders.com/charity/.
To apply for a grant from Cash for Kids please visit http://www.radioborders.com/charity/grant-application/