Donna Lister

Volunteer fundraiser

Tell us a bit about yourself – what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I work part time as a self-employed electrician, and the rest of the time I like to travel. Since I’m learning Spanish, Latin America is on the list, although I’m finding it hard to make it out of Mexico, having visited it four times in the last five years!

What sort of volunteering work do you do with FoWG?
Principally it’s fundraising, such as writing grant applications – although I do sometimes bake cakes and help out at events.

How did you get into volunteering with FoWG?
Until very recently I lived on Blenheim Gardens (the street leading up to the windmill), and was involved at the very formation of the Friends. I have a background in working for charities as a project manager and fundraiser, so it seemed like a great opportunity to put something back into my local community.

What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
Being involved with such an unusual building in London and meeting new people.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to volunteer?
Think about the reason you want to volunteer. Is it because you have skills you can apply, or do you want to do something completely different from your day-to-day life? Being able to commit, even if for only an hour or two a month, makes such a difference to organisations like Friends of Windmill Gardens.

How do you feel you have benefited from volunteering with FoWG?
Well, there are all the homemade cakes sold on open days…. Joking aside, I love being connected to my local community, and it’s great to keep on using and honing my skills.

Finally, tell us a surprising fact about the windmill that people may not know.
This is an electrical one. It has a lightning conductor attached to it. When you are next there, look for the flat metal strip running down the side of the windmill and into the ground!

Find out more about volunteering.

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