Sarah Grimsley, Supporter Care Manager
Sarah manages Brooke's Supporter Care Team, the first point of contact at the London office.
What time does your alarm go off and how do you start your day?
I’m a late riser and take advantage of Brooke’s flexible working so am usually up around 8am (but then I have to work later!)
What are you responsible for in your role at Brooke?
Ensuring our all our loyal donors and potential supporters are provided with excellent supporter care. This means responding to enquiries via email and letter and engaging with people on the telephone.
I manage a team of four people, and if you get in touch with Brooke chances are you’ll speak to one of us. I need to be sure my team is completely up to date with all elements of Brooke’s work so we’re ready to have a conversation with anyone about anything – from where we work and why we send mailings, to helping someone plan their fundraising event.
I also make sure any complaints are resolved and recorded, and that Brooke is complying with all regulations as laid out by the Fundraising Standards Board.
How did you get your job?
I worked in supporter care at another animal welfare charity, and before that I worked in retail management where I gained most of my experience in customer care and people management. I am also passionate about horses and have taken courses in animal welfare which has helped enhance my understanding of the work Brooke does in the field.
What’s your typical day?
After arriving at work and settling in with a cup of green tea and a bowl of porridge, I usually work through whatever current project I am focused on, such as updating our email responses to donor queries or analysing supporter feedback. I will always be on hand to assist my team with any queries they need help with, or to answer calls from supporters. I normally have a least one meeting, usually with other colleagues to learn more about their plans and activities. However, there’s really no such thing as a typical day, as our days are largely dictated by how many people choose to get in touch and what they're asking about.
Nothing can prepare you for the sheer number of working animals and the extent of their suffering in certain places in the world.
What’s your most memorable work moment?
Seeing Brooke’s work in the field for the first time in Ethiopia.
Nothing can prepare you for the sheer number of working animals and the extent of their suffering in certain places in the world. It further fuelled my existing passion for working for Brooke and made me appreciate both how important our supporters are - without them, there would be no way we could help these animals - and just how vital the work that Brooke teams on the ground deliver every day really is. Every person I speak to has the potential to help fund this work, and I use my experiences to convince them just how worthwhile a cause it is.
What’s the worst part of your job?
When someone chooses to stop supporting us for whatever reason. We try everything we can to keep people engaged with us in some way, and it’s important to remember that support doesn’t always have to be financial, but when we do lose someone it can feel like we should have tried harder to keep them interested in Brooke. I know first-hand just how much working horses and donkeys need us and our supporters.
Our supporters themselves are also inspiring, and I feel privileged to work for a charity that has such loyal and committed donors. It feels like we’re all part of a big team, working towards achieving better animal welfare for working animals, and no cause is closer to my heart.
What’s the best part of your job?
Knowing I'm both working for a good cause and inspiring others to give to the same cause. It’s very satisfying to know that horses and donkeys around the world are being helped because of the engagement and encouragement they receive from my team. Our supporters themselves are also inspiring, and I feel privileged to work for a charity that has such loyal and committed donors. It feels like we’re all part of a big team, working towards achieving better animal welfare for working animals, and no cause is closer to my heart.
What would be your Plan B? What would you be doing if you didn't work at Brooke?
I've been here for over eight years so part of me suspects there is nothing else to do! But no, I imagine I would be working hands-on with animals, perhaps overseas.
What do you do after work?
I like to keep fit and enjoy boxing, body combat and yoga. I love to read and, of course, spend time with my friends - perhaps trying out a new vegan restaurant or watching a movie. And when I don’t have to be back in the office for a few days (or even a couple of weeks) I hop on a plane and travel somewhere new and exciting.
What makes you proud to be Brooke?
The commitment our donors show in supporting us, and the commitment my team members show in their efforts to inspire everyone they talk to into becoming a Brooke advocate.
The commitment our hardworking teams display every day in the field, delivering their work in often the hardest of circumstances, and the commitment of our technical and programmatic teams in the UK in supporting them.
And the commitment we’re increasingly finding from owners and local service providers to learn and to change for the benefit of their working animals.
There are many ways you can support Brooke and help improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them.