This week’s blog post is an interview with Louisa Ackermann, our new Fundraising & Communications Officer. Most of you will speak to her soon on our social media, and so here’s your chance to find out a little about her.

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What were you doing before you joined Findacure?

I was studying at the University of Warwick, where I graduated with a degree in History. I was also working as the Women’s Officer there so I have a strong background in campaigning and fundraising! In my summers I was mostly gaining working experience interning in marketing and publicity, as well as volunteering for various charities. I’m also a keen writer, and have been writing for the Huffington Post politics section and my own website, Belle Jar.

Tell me more about setting up Belle Jar.

Belle Jar is a website I set up about a year and a half ago, which discusses women in society and politics around the world. I love running it, and it’s given me so many opportunities – last year some of the writers and I even went to Parliament to discuss gender legislation in Europe! It’s grown very quickly, and it’s currently shortlisted for the Guardian’s ‘Student Website of the Year’ – I’ll find out at the end of the month if we’ve won. These days I only work on it for few hours or so a week, in my spare time.

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How did you find out about Findacure?

Through Student Hubs, an amazing organisation who – amongst many other things – help social enterprises and charities with their recruitment processes. They pointed me in the direction of this job, and I’m so grateful they did. I’d wanted to work in charity for a long time, but it is notoriously competitive.

Why did you choose to join the Findacure team?

Once I started researching Findacure and understanding their mission, it was clear they were filling a really exciting gap in the charity market and I had to apply. Particularly in terms of their plan to establish the term ‘fundamental diseases’ in public consciousness- it’s a social movement, as well as a job. It also appealed to me that Findacure is such a small organisation – I knew I would have a lot of responsibility and have a real say in developing our strategies.

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What do you want to achieve most at Findacure?

Obviously I want to raise a lot of money so we can continue to provide patient groups with valuable support, and to fund research for rare diseases. A personal goal I’m really excited to work on is engaging students with our work; Raising and Giving (RAG) societies at universities are always so enthusiastic, creative and effective at raising money, and of course there is a huge student population in Cambridge.

What’s your favourite book/film/TV show and why?

This is a hard one. My favourite book is probably A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood. I love her use of imagery and the way she weaves the dystopian into reality. I would really love to say something cool for my favourite film, but sadly it’s probably between The Lion King and Les Misérables. I have watched both a hundred times and the songs will never get old. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I always enjoy Come Dine With Me… although it tends to make me hungry.

If you want to contact Louisa, please email: louisa@findacure.org.uk

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