Yesterday was a bit of a different day for me at work. I'd invited Anthony Nolan to work to try and recruit people for the Anthony Nolan register.
I'd seen a blog by Alice Pyne earlier in the year (http://alicepyne.blogspot.com/) in which she described her bucket list. The thing that has always been at the top of Alice's list is "To have everyone eligible join a bone marrow register."
Alice's courage in the face of her cancer at the age of 15 was inspiring, and moving. Her first thought is trying to get people onto a bone marrow register benfitting others with cancer.
I looked at how many people worked with me in the same building. There must have been a few thousand. It must be possible to get some of them to sign up to a bone marrow register.
I got in touch with Anthony Nolan and we set a date.
Yesterday I discovered how difficult it is to find new people for the bone marrow register.
In advance I had done some pre-event activity by walking some corridors and telling people about the event. There was an e-mail that arrived in everyone's inbox I figured that some people might need additional motivation so I baked brownies for the first 50 sign ups. Anthony Nolan said that 50 was their target for the day. I thought that was easy.
The charity support team arrived in two parts, one in time for a ten o'clock start and the other an hour later. There was a limiting factor of time as the Anthony Nolan crew could only be with us for just four and a half hours. But I still thought we could hit the target of 50.
Then the day started. I went corridor wandering again to drum up support, looking for 18-40 year olds who didn't have one of the many health issues that would exclude them. It was then that I realised we have a dearth of "young" people at work.
I spent the whole of the four and a half ours on four inch heels, walking and standing, and talking to people about Anthony Nolan and why they should sign up.
There are the willing volunteers, the willing but scared, the scared and unwilling, the plain uninterested and the weird group that fake interest, say they'll come back and never do, or they fake a medical condition that excludes them. For the record, fainting a bit a while ago is not epilepsy.
By the end of the session I was in severe pain having bruised my soles by spending too much time vertical in silly heels. I had also shifted a fair few brownies. And the really good news is that we hit our target of 50 sign ups.
It would have felt like failure if we hadn't hit 50, but because we did hit 50 I can call it a big fat success. The next challenge is to try to achieve the same, or even better results, at Dunton and Dagenham. And I wonder whether any of our agency partners (where there are loads of young people) might also be interested.