A few weeks ago, we welcomed five new trustees to our Board, including a new Chair of Trustees. In our #HumansCare posts over the next few weeks, we will be talking to them all to share a bit more about them: their background, what made them want to join Carers Worldwide and what they will bring to our team.
We started with Jonathan Freeman, our new Chair of Trustees, and today we are talking to Maria Andrews. Maria is a new business development professional and strategic marketer. She has worked in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, where she has extensive experience of fundraising, income generation and partnership growth. Read on to find out more about her career to date and why she wanted to join us at Carers Worldwide.
Hi Maria, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I started my career in the corporate sector in New Business and Marketing Communications, and then made the move to the not-for-profit sector. My first role in this sector was as a marketer and fundraiser for an environmental charity working on changing behaviours to reduce, reuse and recycle – to benefit our planet. Seeing the difference I could make working for a non-profit organisation like this got me hooked!
I had the opportunity to visit Guatemala whilst I was working for Y Care International, and seeing first-hand how their programme was making a difference to young people trying to lift themselves out of poverty was inspirational. Other highlights were joining the Africa Research Excellence Fund and organising a fundraising event at the House of Lords, and securing a six figure donation for the charity in my career was a great achievement.
What makes caring and carer wellbeing such an important issue for you?
Once the pandemic hit the world, I changed my career again and became a Home Care Support Worker in domiciliary care for Brighton & Hove City Council. This has given me front line experience of how care support operates in the UK and of supporting people from all walks of life that need help to get their independence back.
We have access to so much advice and equipment to deliver people centred care – which makes me wonder what happens in other countries and societies which are less equipped to deliver wellbeing, health, and care support.
Why Carers Worldwide?
It was important to me to continue working with charities and support them with my experience as a fundraiser and marketer. Joining Carers Worldwide as a trustee is a perfect fit for me, allowing me to combine my knowledge from my new role with the expertise and experience I have gained from 15+ years working in the not-for-profit sector. The charity’s mission and vision resonate with me as it’s vital we enable people to live their best lives whatever their circumstances. Carers Worldwide is giving people the skills and support they need in challenging global environments, improving the quality of care provided to people with disabilities by supporting the people delivering that care.
What will you personally bring to the Carers Worldwide board of trustees?
My aim is to support the team with their fundraising and marketing activity to stretch and expand our ability to raise funds, grow income and diversify our fundraising streams, attracting more people to support the charity in its plans.
How essential do you think a Global Carers’ Movement is in achieving recognition and support for carers?
Creating a Global Carer’s Movement is critical in an aging and expanding population that has various disabilities and impairments; where care is sometimes pushed into the background and when society has no formal infrastructure to deliver care and improve the quality of life of people in various settings. As a global community we need to showcase and share best practice in delivering support care to improve the lives of all humankind.
What are your ultimate hopes for carers in the future?
That caring becomes a recognised role within society which, even if it’s unpaid, has kudos and skills that can be shared with others experiencing similar life-style challenges. That carers have the support of their governments and health service providers to enable them to provide care and also look after their own health and well-being.
And finally, what one thing would you take with you to a desert island?!
I enjoy keeping fit, so a snorkel for swimming would be in my kit bag so I could see all the coral and fish as I swim around the island.