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Sophie Milone: diary of an intern

Sophie Milone, the National Brain Appeal’s Pyjama Party intern talks about her role,  responsibilities and wearing pyjamas to work.

“Having just graduated this summer, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do next. Then a perfect opportunity came along in the form of an internship at The National Brain Appeal. More specifically, I was taken on as a Pyjama Party intern to help fundraise and organise events to help raise money for the operating theatres appeal. A typical day for me varies from sending emails and researching possible companies to ask for donations, to wearing my pyjamas and selling cakes. Well, they do say variety is the spice of life!

Since starting here, one of my main roles has been to help secure donations for different charity events. One of these events is the ‘Mid-day Feast’, which is taking place in The Old Board Room on 4th October, for which we need prizes for both our raffle and golden envelopes. I have visited many local stores, restaurants and cafés to tell them about our appeal and see if they could donate anything. Initially I felt incredibly nervous at this prospect and didn’t know what to expect, having never done anything like this before! I wasn’t sure if I would have doors slammed in my face (perhaps a tad overdramatic) or simply be shunned by busy people.

However, once I made my first slightly haphazard approach, I was genuinely blown away by the amount of support and kindness that I was met with. I got a real sense of just how much people wanted to help support The National Brain Appeal and what was really wonderful was the feeling of community that came from local businesses donating prizes and food together.

So far, we have managed to secure some brilliant prizes for the raffle and golden envelopes! We have an acquired a smorgasbord of beauty products, kindly donated to us by Stylist Magazine; a spa treatment, courtesy of The Dorchester Hotel Spa; and vouchers for meals for two from local restaurants…just to name but a few.

One of the most satisfying things I have found so far in working on the Pyjama Party team is that I get to meet the neurology patients and staff around The National Hospital. These are the people who will truly benefit from the new operating theatres and rely on the work on The National Brain Appeal. It helps to drive me forward, and helps me persuade local businesses and companies just that little bit harder for donations! The fact that I get to help contribute to something so worthwhile and gain invaluable experience for my CV only makes this internship all the more enjoyable.

Since I’ve started interning at The National Brain Appeal I have learnt a great deal, but there are two lessons that really stick out: Never underestimate the extraordinary kindness and generosity of people, and secondly, any job which allows me to wear my pyjamas to work is alright by me!”

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