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Staff stories

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.

 

Evan Jones

Evan Jones, Operations Executive

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.

 

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 Scotland Fundraiser

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.