Introducing Lou, our new Fundraising Officer

Hi, my name is Lou and I started working at Providence Row just over two weeks ago. My role is in fundraising, developing individual and church donations/support. I’m really excited to be here.
I have worked in the voluntary sector for over twenty years, predominantly in the homelessness sector and mostly as a front line worker. My most recent front-line role was working with women involved in street-based sex work.  I am a qualified youth worker so a lot of my working life has been spent in the youth sector.
Five years ago I somehow found myself working in the fundraising department of a national children’s charity as a community fundraising manager overseeing London and the South East. It was as much of a surprise to me as it was to my friends and family. However I realised that I loved fundraising and felt that my front line experience enabled me to bring to life the work of the charity and enthuse potential new supporters. Homelessness has always been my passion though and I was keen to develop my fundraising career in the homeless sector and preferably in a smaller charity. So here I am.
In my spare time I love to run, having started this year as I approached fifty. I also like a challenge and like to raise money for my chosen charity. In May this year I climbed the Yorkshire Three Peaks and ran the London 10K and raised nearly £1500 for charity. I’m currently looking for a new challenge and will be doing so to support Providence Row. Watch this space!  I also like to volunteer. Currently I’m being trained to run weekly running and exercise sessions with women living in hostels across London. I’ve got so much out of running and hope to be able to encourage other women to do the same as a way of getting fit, reducing stress and meeting new people.
I am a qualified holistic/ sports massage therapist and originally trained so that I could offer this service to those people in society who do not usually get to access alternative therapies. I have volunteered in a day centre for older people living with HIV/ AIDS, a women’s day centre and a day centre for homeless young people. It is my life-long dream to set up an alternative health centre for women who are facing homelessness, and who are dealing with drug and alcohol issues.
I’ve had a great two weeks of induction and have spent time in the Resource Centre, working alongside trainees in the kitchen and sang a song alongside fab musicians in Providence Row’s music group. Staff, volunteers, trainees and people using the services have been so welcoming. 
I’m really looking forward to being here for some time.