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Staff blog: Meet Abigail Tourle

Abi welcomes supporters to pop in for a cup of tea!

Abi and some delicious blackberries from the Pestalozzi estate.
24 July 2014

After a 14 year career in arts sector fundraising, Abi was on maternity leave when she saw an ad for the Head of Fundraising position at Pestalozzi. She began working at Pestalozzi the spring of 2012.

My first introduction to Pestalozzi was on a school visit when I was about 10. I remember a group of Thai girls who must have been of a similar age to me dancing in traditional dress. I was so impressed by their dancing, the shapes they made with their arms and hands, and no doubt I was envious of their elaborate dresses, which were so different to my drab uniform. To my shame I do not recall having any appreciation of the reasons these girls were at Pestalozzi – a question of my own sheltered upbringing, rather than the failings of my teacher or the educational staff at Pestalozzi! Some 30 years later, it has been possible to redress that.

By far the biggest challenge we face in the fundraising team is meeting the targets set each year. Every day we’re busy submitting funding applications to Trusts and Foundations, organising events, processing donations and talking to donors. If we don’t achieve our goals it means we can’t offer the number of life-changing scholarships we want to. When you meet the students you know you would love to be in a position to offer more young people this opportunity, so sometimes you really feel the pressure.

I have had easier jobs in fundraising, especially given the current economic climate, but none have given me the more satisfaction or more reward. We are enormously lucky to have a very loyal supporter base to keep Pestalozzi going, and we want to meet as many of you as we can – so please do keep donating and, if you can, please drop by for a cup of tea.

Finally, I would like to welcome all new donors to Pestalozzi and thank those who have increased or renewed their support recently.

Would you like to help Abi and her team? Donate, fundraise or volunteer at Pestalozzi!

This article first appeared in the Pestalozzi Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2013.

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