Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Connor, I’m 25 years old and I’m the Senior Community Fundraiser for Children in Crossfire in Belfast and joined the charity in November 2016! The youngest of 4 in my family, I am probably a stereotypical youngest child, always talking a bit too much and with a bit of a competitive streak (well according to my siblings anyway). I was born and bred in Belfast and went on to study law at Queen’s University in Belfast which first ignited my passion for human rights and international development work and spent a great amount of my time volunteering alongside my studying!
What do you do for downtime (hobbies?)
In terms of hobbies, as odd as it may sound I get real enjoyment from going out and raising money; I love to meet new people and having always been told I could “talk for Ireland”, fundraising suits me down to the ground! Outside of this, I’m a big sports fan and could be commonly found going for a run, playing football or a game of golf. More commonly, you’d find me in front of the TV watching almost any sport. (Normally cricket to the annoyance of almost all my family!) On top of this, I’m a big music lover (but awful music player) and regularly go to see live music and especially like to see acts in some of the smaller venues in and around Belfast.
What is good about Children in Crossfire?
The first I heard about Children in Crossfire was hearing about Richard’s story of forgiveness and reconciliation in the face of such great adversity. One of the best things about being involved with Children in Crossfire is having such an inspirational figure as the CEO, especially one who always finds the time for a chat with everyone, and who is great craic (especially for a Derry man!). This applies to all the staff and volunteers at Children in Crossfire, and being relativity new to the organisation this made it so easy to fit into an already tight-knit group. The best thing about Children in Crossfire is the sustainable work we are doing in Tanzania and Ethiopia. For me, it is critical that we use an evidenced-based approach to the importance of pre-primary education and highlight the success of our work to be a benchmark in these countries.
What did you do before you started working with Children in Crossfire?
Although it might seem like quite a jump to many, I worked as a Legal Assistant in a law office in Belfast. While this was a great experience itself, my motivation has always been to make a difference for some of the most vulnerable people in this world and I know with Children in Crossfire this is what I am able to achieve. It also goes to show for someone interested in being involved with us, that even with a completely different background there is a place here for you!
What are the key priorities for you over the next 12 months?
In the next year, my key priorities in this role are to raise awareness of Children in Crossfire in Belfast, develop links with local community groups, create a volunteer network and most importantly, raise funds! It is extremely important to me that moving forward, the name Children in Crossfire and the work we do is common knowledge within Belfast. We can only do this through engaging with the general public through the support of local community groups, our volunteers and through engaging on an individual basis during collections or at events. For this, we really need your support and there is a variety of activities you could be involved in and can be easily tailored to individual needs!
How can people in The Belfast area support Children in Crossfire?
As part of developing of my priorities for the next 12 months and beyond, it is vitally important to have the support of local people and the local community. I’m always looking to hear from individuals who would be interested in supporting us, so if you are thinking about it please drop me an email at email@example.com or a text/call on 07775439227. It’s always really exciting to hear from people passionate about volunteering for us and to hear their reasons for volunteering so I can match the activities to the volunteer and help them develop the skills they want. Your support would be invaluable and with wide-ranging opportunities from street collections to event management and much more, so we’re bound to have an opportunity for everyone!
On top of this, we are always looking to hear from the local community, so whether you’re a religious organisation, university group, a school or a business or anyone at all who is interested in raising funds to make a huge difference to some of the most vulnerable children in Tanzania and Ethiopia, we’d love to work with you so please get in touch at any time. You can help us in a variety of ways including; making us your official charity partner, your charity of the year, holding fundraising events on our behalf, allowing us to hold collections at your premises or recruiting volunteers for our events! If you think you could help us out with any of these please contact as above at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call me on 07775439227.