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Day in the life: Jenny Baskett of St Nicholas Hospice

PUBLISHED: 13:03 19 October 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 20 February 2013

Day in the life: Jenny Baskett of St Nicholas Hospice

Day in the life: Jenny Baskett of St Nicholas Hospice

One of the joys of her job is that no two days are the same, says Jenny Baskett, Challenges and Events fundraiser for St Nicholas Hospice

One of the joys of her job is that no two days are the same, says Jenny Baskett, Challenges and Events fundraiser for St Nicholas Hospice




I first started at St Nicholas Hospice Care as a volunteer on the inpatient Sylvan Ward, so when the position of Challenges and Events Fundraiser came up, I already knew enough about the Hospice to know it was something I wanted to be a part of.
Like all the Hospice fundraisers, I love the fact my job is varied and different every day. This year, I have planned a trek to Jordan, helped our fantastic London Marathon entrants and organised the True Grit endurance event all at the same time!
Now my mind is largely concentrating on one thing and one thing only A Girls Night Out. This fantastic fundraising event was held for the first time last September and saw 350 women taking part in an 11 mile night-time walk around the historic streets of Bury St Edmundsin pyjamas.
It was quite a sight and there was a wonderful atmosphere, thanks to a lot of support from the fellas whether as volunteers or by cheering and applauding the women along the route, from their homes and even the local pubs. Thanks to the ever-generous support of the local community, it was the most successful Hospice fundraiser of all time bringing in more than 60,000. It far exceeded my expectations and now it is my job to make it even bigger and better in its second year.
Although I think I am generally a bright and breezy person, I struggle at waking up so I need four alarm clocks to do the job. Before work, I always take my gorgeous dog, Sybil, for a long walk around Bury where I live. She is a great companion but has also been a great training partner in the past when I have gone on Hospice treks and for the job in general, which requires lots of energy. I take her on lovely long walks around the beautiful Suffolk countryside and, at the same time, clock up the miles and get myself into some of kind of shape without even realising it!
Once at my desk, the work is tremendously varied. On any given day, I could be liaising with anyone from the local council to the police to plan the route and make sure everyone is happy. The safety of our participants is paramount and we are very fortunate to have excellent support from every authority organisation involved. In some ways, it is easier putting on an event a second time as you know what works, and what doesnt.
There is so much that goes on when planning an event of this scale. I could be arranging goody bags with Burys ASDA store, which has been a fantastic supporter of the event and the Hospice, or trying to coax some of the men to act as marshals and volunteers on the night.
Fortunately, this isnt too arduous a task as many husbands, brothers and boyfriends are only too happy to help by directing walkers along the route, handing out refreshments or simply offering words of encouragement.
I also have to put in calls to make sure we have adequate first aid on the night and portable toilets, but we have been very lucky to work with so many good partner organisations who want to ensure the night is a success.
I probably wont relax and enjoy the event until the start of the walk. Last year, I helped lead a quick fitness warm-up prior to the start and looking out over Angel Hill at the sea of faces gave me an immense feeling of pride.
We have already been very fortunate to have many of the walkers from last year pledge to pound the streets of Bury once more. We are also hoping the success of Girls Night Out will see participants invite their family, friends and work colleagues along.
While some were more than happy to walk on their own, we had many girls walking in groups and in fancy dress and the atmosphere was amazing. I even had one young girl come up to me and say the event was more fun than going to her local nightclub. I knew then we had done something right!


You can find out more about this years A Girls Night Out event by visiting the Hospice website on www.stnicholashospicecare.org.uk.

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