I’m awake at the same time every day – this may seem like it’s a special occasion, but it’s not. I’m an early bird, and I work best as the sun is rising. I like getting into everything straight away, before the family wakes up, and before the cat starts pestering me for food!
Once I’ve got in a couple of hours at my little home office, I get to spend an hour or so with my partner and son (another one arriving in October!). We’ll have breakfast together, then go for a walk locally to get some fresh air. It’s become my own policy, whereby I squeeze in a couple of hours work when I’m at my best, and then finish at 5.30pm on the dot. The motivation is getting to spend quality time with my family. I’m also rubbish in the evenings, so it’s best for everyone that my day is flipped like this!
Every morning, we have a team meeting to plan out our day. I created a Kanban board at the start of lockdown for the whole team, which we all share on a screen that works out what everyone has on. I like having lots of processes in place with the team, which I’m fairly sure they hate me for. My logic is that if there’s a zombie apocalypse and we need to keep Medialab going – any survivors will be able to trawl through our notes and make sure we get our Facebook ads up in time!
We have an Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk meeting, which is a weekly call with the team there to talk through results of the campaign. Memory Walk is their biggest event of the year, and given the current pandemic, we are taking it virtual so people can take part anywhere. We’ve been implementing lots of testing, and we’re keen to see how many people take part on World Alzheimer’s Day (20th September)!
The Alzheimer’s Society team is great to work with as they’re quick and innovative; they rapidly develop new products and get them out the door which is exciting for us.
With the introduction of working from home, one of the biggest perks is being able to spend more time with my family. So, we will all have lunch together, which is definitely a priceless moment, and then I’ll tend to go out for a 40 minute walk or so. Our house backs onto some huge fields, and that time gives me a chance to reset and sets me up for the afternoon.
We recently took part in our first virtual pitch for RNLI; which we won! 100% success rate. I feel incredibly privileged to be working with them; they’re a true British Institution and are more important now than ever with everyone flocking to the UK coasts. They have really exciting long term ambitions, and are incredibly friendly too. There’s a real buzz in our meetings together, which I love! We are currently transitioning over the last few bits and pieces, and working on their Christmas appeal and developing their membership.
After RNLI, I’m spending some time on a new thought leadership project. Medialab is developing thinking around some of the challenges and opportunities facing charities in the current climate and in the future. My focus is on Face 2 Face/Street fundraising, which as you can imagine given social distancing, is really under threat.
At university in Manchester, I was a street fundraiser, and that was very much my entry into the world of non-profits. My career goal both back then, and now, is to raise as much money as I possibly can for charities and positive causes. And Medialab is one of the best places for that – I get to work with brilliant people and charities, helping them to do amazing things. So it’s been nice to reflect and revisit those early stages of my career in this project, and also to reconnect with people I used to work with who are still working in Face to Face. This form of fundraising will survive and thrive if we think creatively – and in my research it’s been fascinating to see how people have been innovating in the sector. I think there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on there and I can’t wait to see how it pans out.
End of the day
We’ll all have dinner together, and then we’ll put my son to bed with a story. We’re reading a book about becoming a big brother which is something that he’ll need to get used to!
I’ve been picking up my guitar again and writing a bit of music. I had a brief taste of success when I was playing in a band in Manchester with my brother – whilst that lifestyle is totally incompatible with my life now, I still love listening to and playing music. With my beloved Manchester City not playing football at the moment, I’ll probably end up playing some old retro Nintendo games, before calling it a day.
If you weren’t at Medialab, what would you be doing?
I’d be headlining Glastonbury festival or be a Ghostbuster, one of those is less realistic than the other.