We’re so excited to introduce our new Communications Officer, Taryn Challender, who joined the Findacure team this week! Find out more about Taryn below: 

What were you doing before you joined Findacure?

I spent the last three years studying English at Gonville & Caius College here in Cambridge. In my final year I wrote my dissertation on the writer who instilled my love for English literature, Richard Yates. It focussed on the early short stories of Yates which appeared in magazines in the 1950s and how they interacted with the advertisements they appeared alongside on the page.

Since graduating last summer, I moved from Manchester to South Cambridgeshire and took up the role of Operations Director at the  Cambridge-based NGO The Mountain Trust which works on education, healthcare and human rights in rural Nepal. I also spent time tutoring GCSE and A Level English Literature.

Why did you choose to join the Findacure team?

I wanted a career in the charity sector which would enable me to use the writing skills I honed at university to make a tangible difference to people’s lives. Working in the City like a lot of graduates do has never really appealed to me. The role of Communications Officer at Findacure met all of my criteria, and their ambitious cause was something I knew I would be able to passionately advocate. The importance of universal healthcare cannot be underestimated, and I feel honoured to give a voice to those who feel disenfranchised by the current system.

What do you want to achieve most at Findacure?

My goal is to streamline Findacure’s communications strategies in order to reach a wider array of people in the rare disease community who require our assistance. I want to put patients’ stories at the forefront of our campaigns and strongly believe in the effectiveness of visuals.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I absolutely love the theatre, and have been performing my whole life in both professional and amateur theatre. I appeared in Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ at the Manchester Opera House and was Maria in ‘The Sound of Music’ when I was at Stagecoach. I love going to the West End to watch musicals; I recently saw ‘Company’ (which was incredible!) and am off to see ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ next week.  I also play guitar and am attempting to train my stubborn Rottweiler puppy, Ulysses, in agility.

What’s your favourite book and why? 

Anything by Richard Yates; his writing style is haunting at times. I recently finished Easter Parade and it’s so hard to not identify with his fallible characters whose lives are built on sand.

If you would like to contact Taryn, please email: [email protected]