Tina Somorin is The National Brain Appeal’s administrative assistant and helps the office to run smoothly.
“I’ve been here for just over a year now and am kept pretty busy! An average day involves me sorting all the post and recording the donations; answering the phone and helping with supporters’ queries; writing thank yous to those who have made donations; banking any money we get in, and quite a bit of work updating our donor database. At busy times (like now!) I get stuck into organising and sending out all our Christmas card orders. The Christmas cards here are hugely popular with supporters − they really do bring in a lot of money!
My favourite bit of the job is when I get to help supporters with their queries. I love talking to them on the phone and when I hear so many moving stories, it reminds me what an important role we play for many patients at The National Hospital. I also enjoy many of the events we put on − I laughed so much when I watched David Baddiel’s comedy fundraiser for us last month. But probably my favourite event is the London Marathon. This year I stood for seven hours in the freezing cold with a clapper board and a whistle − I was exhausted, but I loved it! It’s such an inspiring and emotional run, it’s almost overwhelming at times. Standing and cheering them on is nothing compared to what those runners are putting themselves through for our charity. They are amazing.
I used to work for the NSPCC which is a large charity, and I really enjoyed it. But coming to a smaller charity is lovely − every day I am surprised at how productive we are for a small charity. We are very supporter-centered and we all really enjoy getting to know the people who give us regular donations and those who want to raise money through events and challenges.
“The strangest request I get is actually also a pretty common one. Our name, The National Brain Appeal, makes many people think we are appealing for brains! So I do get quite a lot of calls from people wanting to donate theirs after their death.”
Fortunately, we can direct them to The Queen Square Brain Bank, which does want brains − healthy ones and those affected by neuro disorders − so we are able to help out fairly easily with that one!”