What's your role within the Penny Appeal team?
Simply put, I’m the magician and the Pied Piper rolled into one! I jingle-it-up with some razzmatazz plus a healthy dose of pixie dust to make Penny Appeal campaigns come to LIFE! I also meet with key stakeholders up and down the country and share the magic of Penny Appeal with them – our values and our vision – so that more and more people understand and embrace ‘small change, big difference’ and the affordable and rewardable way of doing charity!
How long have you been part of the team?
I joined Penny Appeal back in May 2012, so that makes it two years now. It’s amazing how fast time flies when you enjoy what you’re doing. Our team and our work have grown so much since that time, Masha’Allah! The future definitely appears to be orange!
What do you love most about your job?
There are lots of things I love about Penny Appeal – where do I start? Firstly, there’s always so much to do, no one day is the same. There’s always a big buzz around Penny Appeal and it’s great to be part of something that’s positive and growing so rapidly. Secondly, there’s lots of job satisfaction here! Penny Appeal is all about reaching out and helping humanity, those that need us most. It’s very humbling to know that what you’re doing on a daily basis actually does matter. Lastly, I guess it’s all about maintaining and nurturing that spiritual connection with God. Penny Appeal allows me to engage in good, honest, humbling, spiritual work that I know my Lord holds in high esteem and blesses abundantly. This is a huge plus and something I know we all value very highly here at Penny Appeal! May it be accepted from us all, Ameen!
What has surprised you most about working with Penny Appeal?
It has to be the energy, enthusiasm and passion with which people have responded to our ‘small change, big difference’ philosophy. We could never have predicted such a reaction! Everyone is so passionate about reviving the Sunnah of small and regular giving. Donating a pocketful of pennies to help transform the world is a philosophy that’s proven to be highly infectious!
What do you find most challenging?
It’s got to be keeping up with all that’s going on, on a daily basis! There’s so much happening that at times, it seems like ideas develop a life of their own! With all the enthusiasm around the place, actually tying ideas down, lest they escape and develop into something completely different, is the challenge! It’s a good challenge; I’d rather be part of a place full of rich ideas rather than be part of a place with none!
What do you wish other people knew about Penny Appeal?
The fact that we take our fieldwork very seriously too! Many people think we’re all about cheap and cheerful but there’s a lot more to Penny Appeal, which often gets missed. Our campaigns are not just about cost-effectiveness, we are delivering some really excellent results too! Last year, we took on thousands of orphan sponsorships, built even more life-saving water wells and provided over 500,000 meals for the poor and needy. I’m sure there are a lot of people who didn’t know this!
What was your first job?
My first proper job was working as a recruitment consultant in my uncle’s firm having just finished my GCSE’s! He had hired me as a favour to my mum, to get me out of the house. He had also hired a back-up recruitment consultant to cover my workload (how rude!) but there was no need! I took to the task like a fish to water! I think I must have made my uncle lots of money that summer because he always employed me for every summer break, and without any back-up I’m glad to say!
Outside work, what are your passions?
Outside work, I like going to the movies and eating out with the family. I like adventure movies mainly but also enjoy true stories. I can’t wait to see the new Spiderman and I really enjoyed Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. In terms of food, I like it all, Italian, Persian, Lebanese, Moroccan and Mexican… you name it, I’ll eat it – that’s as long as its halal of-course!
Who or what inspires you?
Real-life personalities, who’ve had to go on journeys of discovery to find themselves; or who’ve had to overcome great odds, discrimination, prejudice and much adversity to achieve something important, really inspire me. People like Florence Nightingale, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mohammed Ali, the Prophet Mohammed and his companions, the Prophet Noah, the Prophet Moses, as well as those not so well known people such as Carl Brashear, James Braddock and Erin Brockovich are but a few examples.
What was the last book you read or recommended?
The last book I read was ‘Pirates AHOY!’ with my five year old daughter as part of her bedtime reading! It’s a book about a pirate ship discovering all sorts of wonderful things whilst at sea! I was putting on my pirate accent and not doing a very good job if I’m honest, but my children enjoyed it and together we all had lots of fun!
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I once scored a solo goal in football, picking up the ball from my defenders and running the full length of the pitch, beating tackles to score at the other end! It was in the playground at primary school… but what a great goal!!!
THURSDAY 24 APR 2014