What do JDRF staff do day to day? What do they think of their jobs? What inspires them? Hear from a selection of our people to get an insider's view on JDRF life.
Miranda Burdett, Regional Fundraiser for Wales
I work as the Wales Regional Fundraiser for JDRF and that involves organising JDRF fundraising events varying from One Walk Cardiff and our Snowdon Sponsored Walk to more glamorous, social events. I also support our supporters with their third party fundraising events, challenges and activities. Every penny helps us get closer to finding the cure for type 1 diabetes, and my work is all about fundraising for the cure.
I am home-based in South Wales. Part of the perks of working from home is that as soon as I started working for JDRF last summer, we got a puppy. It was great as I was at home to spend time with him.
I really like meeting our supporters and their families and friends – they are at the heart of everything we do at JDRF, and we wouldn’t be able to do our work without them. Our supporters are incredible and so dedicated to helping JDRF fund research into type 1 diabetes as well as raising awareness of the condition.
I have type 1 diabetes myself, so hearing about the latest developments in type 1 diabetes research first-hand is interesting. Talking with our supporters about their lives and fundraising stories is also a lovely part of my job too.
I feel really proud to be a part of JDRF’s mission and in my presentations at events I always draw attention to the fact that there is so much hope for those living with type 1 diabetes and that JDRF will not stop improving lives until the cure is found.
Evan Jones, Executive Assistant
As JDRF’s Executive Assistant, I manage the diaries of our Chief Executive and senior staff, as well as booking travel for all of JDRF’s staff. I get to work with a lot of different JDRF teams, helping to make sure the offices run smoothly and are well supplied.
I’m based at JDRF’s London office in Angel, and live about an hour away by public transport.
The staff culture at JDRF is fantastic, and it’s a definite highlight for me coming in every day. People are inclusive, friendly and support each other regardless of what team they’re working in.
I’m lucky to work alongside a number of different JDRF teams, so I get to see how the whole organisation moves to tackle type 1 diabetes in the UK and around the world. Getting updated on the latest research or a new event idea is always fascinating.
I’m most proud of being able to help push JDRF’s work forward, even in little ways. It may sound silly, but improving JDRF’s travel or purchasing systems can save us money that goes towards innovative new research or community-focused projects.
Tom Borrett, Senior High Value Partnerships Executive
My role is specifically focused on corporate fundraising new business and account management. It’s my job to acquire new companies and organisations who wish to work with us as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy as well as manage the relationships with existing corporate partners.
I am based in the JDRF UK London office in Angel, it’s a really nice part of London with plenty to do nearby, the canal is idyllic in the summer and we’re also really close to the city and major train stations. Essentially there is always something to do and the transport links are great.
I enjoy the collaborative nature of my role; working closely with challenge and sports events, regional fundraisers and our marketing and communications team. I also really value that we are affiliates of JDRF International; this allows me to learn not only from my colleagues in the UK but our American, Dutch, Canadian and Israeli colleagues on monthly corporate global development calls.
The most interesting aspect of my job is probably that every corporate partnership is different, no two companies want the same thing. Each company has its individual needs and it’s my job to ensure that we are able to facilitate the clients fundraising and volunteering requirements.
I’m proud of knowing that the funds we work hard to raise are having a direct and positive impact on the lives of those who live with type 1 diabetes.
Rachel Connor, Director of Research Partnerships
I’m Director of Research Partnerships at JDRF. I’m here to create new funding partnerships to support type 1 diabetes research. However, that doesn’t quite tell the full story of what I do. To create new opportunities, I have to have my finger on the pulse of what is going on in the type 1 diabetes and wider medical research worlds in order to spot opportunities that others might not, or build a persuasive case what type 1 diabetes forms an important part of a wider scientific question – this is very much how Connect Immune Research came about!
I work four days a week, usually based in the Islington office, but at various times of the year I seem to be mostly based in planes, trains and automobiles. I travel a fair bit to make sure I am meeting the right people and asking the right questions.
I enjoy science and people! I’m a bit of scientific magpie in that pretty much anything shiny and new will capture my attention. The sheer breadth of scientific fields needed to understand type 1 diabetes and develop new treatments and cures is staggering, and will always keep me interested. But really it’s the people that make my job at JDRF so great. I get to talk about all this interesting science to anyone who will stand still long enough, and hear about their ideas, opinions and stories in return.
Science is the most interesting part of my job as it endlessly fascinating, but working in a partnerships role means you have to be very alive to what makes other people and organisations tick. Finding the right way to engage a potential partner is probably at least seven tenths psychology!
I’m most proud of Connect Immune Research. Although getting scientists working on autoimmune conditions together to work on shared problems seems fairly obvious, when I started the ball rolling for what eventually became Connect Immune Research, no-one was really talking about it, thinking about it or funding it. I think that’s changing now, not just here in the UK, but around the world, and I am very proud to have played a part in that change.
Elspeth Campbell Senior Regional Fundraiser (Scotland)
As Senior Regional Fundraiser in Scotland my role is quite an extensive one. As well as organising our major fundraising events such as gala balls, One Walks and One Fun Runs I assist our individual and corporate supporters and visit schools and diabetes clinics to raise awareness of JDRF and the resources we can provide to help people at a difficult time in their lives. I also organize Discovery Days which allow people with a connection with type 1 diabetes to meet each other and hear the latest news about type 1 research and the work of JDRF.
I am home based in Glasgow but travel throughout Scotland to meet our supporters. This is one of the best parts of my role – hearing their stories and being inspired by their motivation to fundraise for JDRF. As part of a regional team I enjoy working with other teams throughout the UK on many different activities.
As the mother of a son with type 1 diabetes, I am inspired by all the amazing research which has brought us closer to a world without type 1 and by the progress in technology which does so much to help people living with the condition. I am proud to be part of an organization which plays a major role in the search for a cure and to be able to make a contribution to that.