Life as a Fundraising Intern – Week One

The day I had been waiting for had finally arrived. Filled with a mixture of anticipation and excitement, I made my way to the entrance of the building that has become the heart and home for many of the staff and students working in and visiting Action For Kids. For those who are a little less familiar with the organisation, Action For Kids is a North-London based charity; established in 1991. From its humble beginnings, the charity has flourished over many years and now occupies Ability House in Tottenham, providing an array of much needed emotional and practical support to the families, children and young people whose lives are affected by a disability; from all walks of life.

The joy of Action For Kids

Having finished University four months ago, I felt particularly nervous at the prospect of embarking upon a new chapter within my life, as it was so different to the routine I had become accustomed to in recent years; attending lectures and accumulating my knowledge from textbooks. Now, the time had come to gain life experience. Whilst I was sat waiting to be collected for my interview for the position of Fundraising Intern, I began chatting to an extremely out-going, bubbly and funny receptionist, and immediately I was struck with the realisation of what made Action For Kids such a unique charity; the passion for the cause and friendliness of all who were present could be felt as tangibly as my heart-beat could be felt in my ears. Suddenly, I no longer felt nervous, instead feeling like a part of the family, which is an amazingly refreshing experience in a world that is becoming increasingly individualistic.

Warmth emanates from the family atmosphere of Action For Kids

I can honestly say, having been part of the team for my first week, I already feel welcomed and completely at home, which is a rare feeling when you have been part of an organisation for such a short space of time. The opportunity to learn new things and grow as a person is an invaluable experience in life and one that I have already benefitted from, and certainly hope to continue to benefit from throughout my time working at Action For Kids.

There are many opportunities for Action For Kids young people


Lord Mayor Show 2011, by Ben

Ben has Asperger’s Syndrome, and came to the UK from Hungary aged 12. He is a former student who now works at Action For Kids as a Fundraising Assistant.  Ben went with Action For Kids to the City of London Lord Mayor’s Show.

I met some students and staff of Action For Kids (AFK) in Moorgate for Mayor show in cafe place. We all had hot drink.

It was great day because great weather,  great people.

We started at barbican. AFK went to mayor show AFK mini bus came.

Feeling fruity

Started about 11.30 bus was decorated with fruit because the theme was fit for life for day. AFK wants healthy diet. I wore hat with banana i represend bananas.

The Action For Kids team!

We walked on procession half way break. I held AFK banner with Hisba. Hisba is student.

We wore fruits we all dressed up. We were holding flags and waving it.

Sally Bishop is founder of AFK. Sally’s daughter Jo came with baby daughter. Weather was good. My mum kept telling me to buy umbrella. People involved in Mayor Show walked and walked and walked.

Walking the procession

Had cold lunch sandwich water crips. Lot of people watched. Crowds watched Lord Mayor show.

AFK minibus came on procession while we walked. We were filmed at Bank by BBC1.

I did not wait for fireworks which was good because I did not wait until 17.00.

I am looking forward to next year’s Mayor Show good exercise, good day out.

Action For Kids: The Movie

Click here to view a five minute film about Action For Kids, where our bloggers are based. Richard works at the charity and Toby does work experience there. (Note that the film clip opens in YouTube).

Copy of Maria

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

The Day the staff at AFK went away

…. and tried not to get too carried away.

It all started with the meet up at Finsbury park station at 8:30 with a few members of the young peoples panel group that mainly consisted of Action For Kids students and ex students. So in a sense I had got a double invitation to attend that event.

Firstly coz I was now a member of staff on the payroll and secondly because I was a member of that young peoples panel who where invited to attend this event. I accompanied by Jo and a couple of students went down the Victoria line to oxford circus and made our way to the king’s fund.


When we arrived at the king’s fund it was a nice big building where there was a big hallway and we went upstairs to this big room shared with people attending events for other organisations with doors leading to other separate rooms (our room was room 7), which was lucky. Another lucky thing about it was that the man I had spoken to about lottery grant applications a few months ago was the man who was going to be running that event. So an event in room 7 run by a lottery man how lucky could it get.


I was talking to a few of the people there then who should I see but an old friend of mine who used to live down the road to me. She happened to work in that building which I didn’t know she worked there. When the event started there was a few speeches and then they’re where a few team building games to help us get to know each other better. And indeed I did learn a few interesting things about the staff at Action For Kids e.g. Jo was bourn in Thailand. Then where asked to brainstorm the word participation then did a few activities about that.


We had lunch and everything seemed to be to seafood apart from the vegetable crisps which it would have been funny if they where prawn cocktail something a bit fishy was going on here. The students had all gone home when lunch was over but for the staff the fun and games continued we had the team building game of no talking and we had to stand in a row in order of our birth dates. Nick and few more senior members of staff where rather worried at the thought of that however Paul C who was running it said that it was only the date not the year so it started with January one end and December the other only 2 of us had to swap at the end.


After a few of those games we talked more about participation and we had to pair up with fellow members of our departments and talk about how to get the students involved in the work that we do. Ben and me discussed how we could give our boring inputs to some the students as a promotion from envelope stuffing.


Paul was given a trophy for his good work as a finance director for Action For Kids, and then we started to walk to the pub, as a joke I pointed out to Paul that it was good he won a trophy on the day he agreed to renew my employment contract, and I suggested that giving me a pay rise might get him a kinghood. He laughed at that joke. pity I was hoping he’d try that one.




I was glad we where going to the pub as never had I spent so much time on discussing one word even though it was one with 5 syllables. Some started off on soft drinks and others including me got straight into it. Many jokes and funny story’s where told, however some of us got talking to the land lady who told us she had a son with A.D.H.D or dyspraxcia who was in his early 20’s and so a potential new student was found on that night out. I was the last one to leave this bar along with Lawrence from work related learning after he told me about his other previous jobs that where not as good as his present job. I then went on the tube and went home after a good day out.


 Blogged by Richard

AFK Staff Away Day…with a difference

     On Monday 6th April 2009, Action For Kids held their away day at the Kings Fund in London. I arrived on time – to my surprise. The reason I was surprise was that I had been at an 18th party the night before.

        Anyway………. I turned up at 9:30 am. I saw Sam and Tracey outside, said hello and went inside. Everyone was on the second floor having tea and biscuits before the day began.  I chatted with people until 10am. We all then went into Room 7 and sat in groups around tables.

        Mike Hayes then introduced himself and the person leading the day. His name was Paul Cutler. After Mike finished his introduction, Paul stood up and introduced the day and explained what we were going to get up to. The difference to this ‘staff ’ away day was that Young Persons Forum (made up of young volunteers) was there.  During the morning we discussed what participation was and about participation tools. After lunch the forum left.


– Blogged by Toby

Action For Kids visit the Rix Centre visit


A few of us from the Work Related Learning (WRL) Department were ‘specially chosen’ to visit a technology development centre which is at the University of East London  (UEL).


          At 10:30 am we all piled into Antonio’s bus. We didn’t actually leave until 10:45! We then had about a 45-minute ride to the centre. When we got there, Daniel (one of the people there) then met us outside the centre. We then went up to the centre where we met Pat and Andy.   We then learnt about ‘wiki sites’. These are small sites that are easily created and managed.  We then got into groups and started to plan a couple of different sites. One about the ‘Cooking Bus’ and another about Burson-Marsteller: the latter is a company who donated about £3,000 to Action For Kids.


          We then had lunch in the canteen downstairs. Most of us had brought a packed lunch but others got lunch in the canteen. Half way through the lunch hour, Andy came to join us. 15 minutes later, we returned to the Rix Centre. After our lunch had gone down, we got back into our groups. Each group then started to actually create the wiki sites. My group worked on the site that was to do with the ‘Cooking Bus’. The groups had been asked to bring in relevant photos (I misunderstood and emailed myself a photo of White Hart Lane!). I then found some relevant photos of the time in the ‘Cooking Bus’. Just before we left, Andy showed us a couple of new pieces of technology that were still being developed. These included:  face recognition, barcode-type recognition and a new format on Youtube.


 We stayed there until about 2:45pm.  We returned to Ability house by about 4:45pm. It was an interesting.

          I brought a lot away from the trip – especially the interesting new forms of technology. I’m sure that in time, these new aids will come in to use and Action For Kids will be able to pass it on to others who may benefit from it.



Blogged by Toby