Six of our fundraisers share their favourite story from more than 2,000 thank you calls

05 May 2020
Last month our Fundraising team set themselves the mammoth challenge of calling every supporter who had made an individual donation in the last 12 months to thank you them for their support. From £1 lottery tickets to £80,000 donations we wanted to be clear that every single penny mattered to us and made a difference to the children and families we cared for. So we did just that.
It was a campaign that had been in the offing for some time and the overnight cancellation of 100% of our fundraising activities and events meant that we couldn’t not jump at the chance to talk to you all. So, over two weeks 18 members of fundraising team phoned more 2,000 supporters to express their thanks, listen to their connections with Martin House and (hopefully) bring a little bit of joy and appreciation to people who’d made little sacrifices to make a big difference.
At the end of April, we asked six of our fundraisers to share their favourite call from the campaign and here’s what they had to say:
Nikki Denton, Events Team Manager
I spoke to a wonderful lady called Linda on the final day of our campaign. She was delighted we had called and we chatted for ages about her memories of Martin House and how she came to support us.
“I first came to Martin House 20 years ago after my grandson passed away quite suddenly. The hospice and the staff there helped us.
“I sell your Christmas Raffle tickets each year but this was the first year I forgot because my husband was so poorly. We lost him in January. It’s been so hard isolating on my own, I think about him all the time, but my family have been brilliant.
“My sons were planning a big bike ride raise money for Martin House but they’ve had to put it on hold because of all this. They’ll do it as soon as the virus is over with. We will always do whatever we can to support Martin House.”
Daisy Mankee, Regional Fundraiser (West Yorkshire)
I spoke to a number of care professionals over the two weeks and it was so interesting to hear from clinicians, doctors, nurses and therapists alike, who valued Martin House so much that they donated and fundraised in their own time too. One of my favourites was from Adrian Rees:
“As a GP myself, I’ve had several young patients who’ve been cared for by Martin House. I donate to you every year. You’re the obvious choice for me.”
Zara Shillito, Individual Giving Coordinator
They wanted to remain anonymous but I thanked to one of our Martin House families who spoke about the “feeling of peace and calm as soon as you walk through the doors of the hospice”. It’s lovely to hear that Martin House can bring so much peace to people.
Chris Bennett, Individual Giving Manager
Ah, it’s so hard to pick just one! I think my favourite part of making the calls was not one particular story but just how grateful people were in general that we’d called and acknowledged their support. Although I did love this one from Janette:
“I had a godson who was looked after by you a few years ago and what you did for him was tremendous. I’ll keep donating and you keep up the good work!”
Who needs any more motivation than that??
Jessica Fennell, Fundraising Office Coordinator
I loved speaking to our volunteers. How brilliant is it to have supporters who volunteer and donate?! I spoke to one of our wonderful kitchen volunteers for quite a long time – I think she was missing everyone at the hospice. She told me about how she started giving her time to Martin House after a friend’s granddaughter came to stay with us. She’s been volunteering with us ever since and gets all her friends involved too!
“It’s a privilege to support Martin House – I tell everyone that!”
Rosie Mellor-Silvester, Regional Fundraising Team Manager
My favourite calls were ones where people suddenly pledged to run another 10k/half-marathon/marathon. A lot of people said they’d been thinking about it and this call was the confirmation they needed and others said they were continuing to run to fundraise for Martin House during their daily allocated exercise. One supporter Ben said:
“I was actually thinking about doing the Yorkshire Marathon again this year to raise money for Martin House. I’ll definitely do it now. I don’t know what’s come over me but I do like a bit of a challenge!”

We hoped you all enjoyed receiving our thank you calls as much as we enjoyed making them. If you had a memorable call let us know about it on Facebook, InstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.
Our fundraising team are still working to raise awareness and money for Martin House so if you’d like to make a donation, fundraise or just need someone to talk to in these lonely times please don’t hesitate to get in touch at or on 01937 844569.