Don't underestimate the physical challenges but don't be put off by the psychological ones
Digital Marketing & Design Officer
The year you joined the charity
January 2016 - although I joined the Comms team more recently in October 2017.
A brief overview of your role – what are you responsible for?
I maintain Meningitis Now's social media platforms, creating content and engaging with our online supporters about everything from disease information and stories to fundraising events. Alongside my manager David, I help ensure that the website is kept up to date with all of the current disease, research and vaccine information, support offerings, meningitis stories, news and events and monitor a wide range of statistics to make sure our content is what our supporters are looking for and want to see. In addition, I'm responsible for the creation of all of our digital graphics and provide design support to our Senior Designer, Jules.
Your favourite part of your role
I love seeing our social media posts spark conversations between people from all walks of life; it really highlights that meningitis doesn't discriminate and I'm grateful that we have this way of reaching out. Social media is such an integral part of many people's lives and, if used positively, can be a vital tool in raising awareness of this life-threatening and life-changing disease.
I also enjoy making our website look its best and making sure it’s easy to navigate, both on mobile and desktop.
Your biggest achievements
I was lucky enough to get a ballot place and ran in the 2018 London Marathon, which ended up being the hottest on record! I've since gone on to run other marathons, the medals of which hang proudly alongside others from various half marathons, obstacle and mud runs and 10ks.
A fun fact about yourself
I am a qualified Personal Trainer and Run Leader, and love helping and motivating others to reach their fitness goals. I’m also a complete tea monster and peanut butter addict.
How you can be contacted
Email me at RachelO@meningitisnow.org.
What is the best part of being a Safety Team member? - Supporting a group of people who are all there for their own reasons but with a common goal of raising funds for the charity and conquering the challenge.
I dislike it when - there is no tea!
I like it when - you're surrounded by nothing but stunning scenery and realise just how vast the open spaces are.
Best piece of advice to someone starting their training? - Don't underestimate the physical challenges but don't be put off by the psychological ones. Walking for hours on flat ground doesn't translate to walking up and down hills; get started early, break it into manageable chunks and consider incorporating a strengthening programme to help build stamina and stability in your legs and core. Developing a selective deafness for the nagging little voice in your head also comes in handy; you are stronger than you think.
Our UK treks and challenges couldn’t go ahead without our invaluable safety team and qualified mountain leaders. Each and every one of them retain expert knowledge, understanding and a passion for outdoor pursuits and the mountains we climb. They are on hand to ensure the wellbeing of our participants, navigating them through each trek safely and providing words of encouragement to help everyone complete their challenge.