Life as a Fundraising Intern – Video Games(Aid)

Life as a Fundraising Intern is proving to be as busy and insightful as ever. Reflecting on the events of this week, there has been lots to get involved with and a great deal more to learn from.

Monday afternoon saw the arrival of a number of Action For Kids beneficiaries, as well as a selection of representatives from the games industry charity Games Aid. This is because, following their extremely generous donation in support of our charity and our work last year, they were keen to return, finding out more about the work we do in aid of our young people and how their money was making a difference. It was lovely to become re-acquainted with some familiar faces I had the chance to meet at a previous GamesAid event, while also being introduced to some new people, and getting to know more about them.

All in all, there were a total of three beneficiaries, all present in order to be featured in this year’s GamesAid video. One particular beneficiary was a bright, bubbly, out-going, and chatty young girl with Down’s Syndrome who had beautifully coiffed hair and a natural affinity for a camera. I was also asked to partake in the filming, as I have been a beneficiary of the charity in the past, knowing only too well the difference that being provided with life-changing equipment can make. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking of the ways that this unique charity has impacted my life, being able to converse and share stories. Then there was George, an incredibly adorable, inquisitive and clever two-year old little boy, who although camera shy seemed very pleased with his new equipment provided by Action For Kids. George’s ‘Whizzybug’ was an eye-catching, pillar-box red electronic chair, complete with a child-friendly design featuring a set of wide, friendly eyes positioned exactly where the headlights would be on a car. It was great to watch George play and interact with his twin brother; while witnessing the mutual amount of love and admiration they held for one another.

A selection of GamesAid representatives, alongside some Action For Kids beneficiaries and staff.

Proof of a great afternoon spent with representatives from GamesAid.

Listening to George’s mum talk of the difference that the new chair has made to her family’s life was incredibly special, putting into perspective the great work that GamesAid helps the charities it supports to achieve. Being given a sense of independence is invaluable, and in providing equipment to both George and all the other families that Action For Kids helps, it is clear that they are not only giving them real freedom, but also the freedom to realise their potential; helping them to triumph over the challenges that having a disability may present.



A few months’ ago I was told that Beryl (the WRL supervisor) was going to be retiring a in a few weeks a lady called Carol was going to be replacing her .This would be confusing as she was going to be working at a desk on the other side of me from my line manager carol before she went on maternity leave, but as they where in different departments being surrounded by carols before Christmas was alright.

Jolene (the WRL minibus chaperone) told me she was putting together a video for beryl, to give her on her last day to remember us all by, as she knew her since her school days when she worked with her in her school as member of support staff, she gave me 2 weeks notice so I was able to think of something decent to say on it.

When it got to my time, the noise levels in the whole building where way too much so Jolene took me onto a mini bus to say my part.

I decide to make a joke about getting one of experiences that I missed out on as a student but later experienced as a staff member because I came to AFK as an independent traveller, was getting chaperoned onto a mini bus by Jolene. I also talked about my memory of Jolene showing me around the place and first introducing me to beryl.  As well as listening to at work what I would call “Beryl’s lunch time blues” which consisted of her talking to the parents/guardians of naughty students about there behaviour and about the things she did not feel was in her job description such as washing up and cleaning up after them and how I hoped her husband didn’t think she was going to be there to do that for him at home now she was going to be there more.

I can’t remember but I might of mentioned as well that because she said she was thinking of trying to get a job as a school bus Escort I wouldn’t have minded her as one back in the day when I was a small boy being picked up by a mini bus provided by my local authority to take me to special school half an hours drive away, also how she would be sadly missed.

A few days before the planned surprise party: Aaron (an autistic student) let the cat out of the bag when he asked Beryl if she was coming to her own surprise party.

But that did not ruin it too much.

On the day I was able to stop work at about 4 because the barbecue was about to start I had left room in my tummy for this.

Salad at Beryl's leaving party

Non-vegetarian option also available

There was a few interesting salads and some capital gold music playing outside the Afk building. I wondered if the burger van lady was happy about us giving them away for free that day.

There was one type of sausage I was very happy to try and that was a sausage that was curled up like a snake. Siobhain made a comment about it looking like dog pooh. I later found her and Troy on the bus drinking im not sure if  Jo Read ( the WRL director) caught them or not after id told her I enjoyed a few drinks myself once I  found what fridge the beer was in.

I also saw a few blast’s from the past this included Catharine (the WRL Manager) at the time of my first joining AFK as a student and she was thin again as it was good to see after she had left on maternity leave as well as finding her son could walk.

Another blast from the past was Sean French (the communication manager when I was there as a student) I first as a joke bragged to him about the fact I was now paid to be there and now sat at the same desk as he did back then and how could I manage to take a communications managers desk when I was diagnosed as having a communication impairment twice in my life. I then admitted my job title was different but only the desk was the same, he laughed.

I went and talked to some more people with more food and drink I had the misfortune of finding a live wasp in my drink luckily I saw it before I downed my drink as it could have been legal but if I had downed that drink id of really been buzzing.

After the chief executive made a few speeches as well as various other people including Siobhain got hers from the Borat movie when she said the comment  “now that you are retarded”  this made everyone gasp and those who had watched that movie including me laugh.* All in all Beryl’s party was definitely something to remember her by.

Sliced retirement cake

A sweet sendoff for Beryl

* For those who haven’t seen the Borat movie this was a comedy film where Sacha Baron Cohen (comedian best know for a Alie G show) played a journalist from Kazakhstan (Borat) was on a trip to The USA doing research for a documentary on American life. This gag was made from a seen where Borat was at a dinner party and when Borat asked a gentleman his occupation and he replied he was retired and Borat  thought he was saying retarded because the word sounded similar .
Blogged by Richard

The day I drank wine, sampled food and talked to posh women

About 2 weeks ago Paul (the Action For Kids Finance director) ask me if I would be willing to accompany him to an event called the London social enterprise presentation. He explained to me a little about the other organisations that might be attending including some African peoples organisation and a homeless one. He told me that he was offered the opportunity to bring a student or a colleague he said that he thought of me because I was both. My first thought was well even if it is just a load of political correctness lectures it was better then boring inputs.

So when the Tuesday came after lunch me and Paul  went to Hornsey station to get a train to Finsbury park where we got a tube towards water loo he told me about how he was raised in Enfield and he remembered an older relative working in the factory that used be owned by Ruberiod the company where my father was chief accountant back in the 80’s.

We went to waterloo and walked to the office it was quite a nice office we went into the reception and there was badges for both of us and we looked at a few amusing names of other organisations attending the event including one called “action for visitors”. We went up the stair to the conference room where the event was being hold. We sat down and the talking began it was quite a talk about how social enterprise help many organisations started up for good causes who didn’t know how to quite grow themselves by teaching them management techniques. This sounded quite interesting but despite that the room was just at the right climate for me to struggle to stay awake but I managed it.

After the talk came the best bit and that was getting to talk to all the people while plenty of wine and small samples of posh food was served. I talked to quite a few interesting people including one of the women who gave the talk she was previously in the property business providing office space for businesses too big to run from the owners home yet too small to afford their own premises. I also talked to another women who gave a talk who had started social enterprise and she was impressed that I was able to understand her talk. I also met a man from a company that’ specialises in getting disabled people into IT jobs. As well as someone from some other organisation which I forgot what it does but he recognised me from my other supermarket job. What a small world.


On my way back on the tube Paul seemed to think that it had gone well. We also had an interesting talk about quite a few things including previous jobs and he told me that even he used to stuff envelopes as a student at the Tesco’s head office in Chessant and how boring it was. I also told him a few stories’ my father told me about the early years of his accountancy career. All in all it was one of the best days I had ever had in my time of paid employment at Action For Kids and I didn’t think it got much better then sitting on a mini bus drinking coke and impersonating my old northern geography teacher for the entertainment of some students on another outing but it did the day Paul took me out to an event where I got paid to drink wine, sample posh foods and chat to rich women…

Blogged by Richard

AFK Winter Reunion

On the 16th December 2008, Action For Kids held their annual reunion party at The Pumphouse in Hornsey.     I arrived  slightly late ( as usual!) and got to the party at about 6:35 pm. The  party had started 5 minutes before hand – I blame it on the 144 bus.

Everyone came dressed for the ocassion: suits , dresses and everything in between!

Christmas Reunion


Blogged by Toby