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Q&A with Sian Averill - NHS Charities Together

Posted: by Jo Thursday, 27 May 2021 @ 10:05

Inspired to be their best selves

Over the last 4 years, we have been running our #mybestself campaign, to learn from different women about what makes them step up to be their best self in any given situation.

In 2021, we decided to focus on a particular audience, to understand what drives them: the women and men who set up or work in the charities which we support through our ‘Mantra Changes Lives’ initiative. Does it take a particular kind of person to devote their working life to helping people? Is it a calling? Or did an event occur in their lives which drew them to this work?

I’m sure we will get 12 different answers from 12 different people, and I am fascinated to find out what those answers are. Stay with me through the year as I interview some remarkable people who work in the charitable or not-for-profit sector, who are changing lives every day. They are people who have truly stepped up to be their best selves.

One of our more recent charity partners is NHS Charities Together.

I was excited to find out more about what drew Sian Averill, Fundraising Manager, to work for NHS Charities Together; what drives her day-to-day through the inevitable difficulties and challenges; and what her greatest desire is for the charity in 2021 and beyond.  

  mantra x nhs charities together

Jo: Tell me a little about the charity’s aims?

Sian: NHS Charities Together is an independent charity with 240 NHS member charities. We raise funds to help the NHS to do more for staff, patients and volunteers than would otherwise be possible. We work with NHS hospitals, mental health services, ambulance services, community services and health boards across the UK.    

Jo: And tell me – what was it that prompted you to join the charity?

Sian: Prior to joining NHS Charities Together, I worked at one of our member charities, University Hospitals Birmingham Charity. I loved raising funds locally and being able to see first-hand the difference that donations can make. After the launch of the Covid-19 Appeal, I joined NHS Charities Together as I wanted to use my experience to help raise funds nationally to benefit hospitals and healthcare services across the whole of the UK.

Jo: What does the charity hope to achieve in 2021, and longer term?

Sian: NHS Charities Together wants to continue to be there for the NHS and the staff who care for us, particularly as it recovers from the most challenging time in its history. Our long-term goals are to be able to continue to be the ‘over and above’ for the NHS, helping it to do more and to support long term projects such as mental health and wellbeing services for NHS staff and other support for patients.  

Jo: There must be innumerable challenges – logistical, political, financial, emotional – to delivering on the charity’s aims, especially now with the impact of Covid. How do you stay motivated and focused, through all of that?

Sian: It is an absolute honour to be able to raise funds to support our most valued institution, the NHS. The NHS and its staff do an amazing job and every day we get to see the difference that donations are able to make to help the NHS to do more and to support our wonderful NHS champions.  

Jo: Did you plan, when you set out in your career, that this is what you would be doing?

Sian: I was always very indecisive when it came to choosing a career path. However, as soon as I started my career in fundraising over 8 years ago I knew this was the career for me!  

Jo: Do you have a mantra, or positive phrase, that you live your life by?  

Sian: I can be known to be a bit of a worrier but my twin sister introduced me to the quote ‘worrying only means you suffer twice’ – so I try to remember this as much as I can! 

Our Mantra Collaboration

We are helping to support NHS Charities Together’s vital work, by donating 25% of the sales of our ‘Hope’ Necklace to them.


June Competition

This month, there is a chance to win one of our ‘Hope’ necklaces. Visit our competition page, for details on how to enter. 

One lucky winner will win a ‘Hope’ Necklace in the colour of their choice. Competition closes midnight on Wednesday June 30th. One winner will be chosen at random from across our social platforms, on Thursday July 1st.

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