These days I mostly work from home but today I went into DCN’s cosy little office on London’s Caledonian Road. It looked a lot tidier than when I was last there and I discovered this was all down to our volunteer for the week Sam, donor conceived young adult offspring of Jane, one of our Trustees. Call it nepotism if you like, but Sam’s presence has made a huge difference. We no longer have a pile of papers awaiting shredding, there is a system for re-cycling other waste paper and best of all as far as I am concerned we now at last have a proper data base for all the research papers that come our way and have never been filed properly in 18 years! Now at long last when I want to look something up there will be an organised way of going about it. Not only has Sam achieved this miracle but he has also taken significant steps towards setting up a web site for donor conceived young people, in collaboration with two others. DCN has always primarily been an organisation for parents but with the children of our original families now being in their late teens or twenties and so many new young adults contacting us, we wanted to be able to offer something to offspring as well. A site separate from but connected to the adult one felt right and Sam will lead this innovation. As I left the office Sam was attempting to register on the Fertility Friends web site so that he could answer the questions of parents and those contemplating donor conception. A great idea but he hadn’t yet been accepted.
Over the last year Nina and I have also been enjoying having Carol work with us. She is the mother to an egg donor conceived daughter and approached us a year ago when she heard we were moving to Caledonian Road as she was looking for part-time work and lived in the area. Today, she gave us a master-class in branding and marketing – areas she had worked in for many years with both public sector and private organisations. Both Nina and I felt inspired by what she had to say and although her suggestions will initially add to our work-load we can see that they will undoubtedly benefit members and increase and improve the Network’s profile. Carol is also a wonderfully reassuring voice on the ‘phone for those who contact the office when they are contemplating egg donation. She had been a member for a couple of years and offered her services to the office just at the right moment. If we can just find the funds to keep her I can see her role increasing in the way that Nina’s has as she is a tremendous asset to our little team. Nina too came as a part-time worker with an eye to filling in a year or so whilst her son was very little. Four and a half years later she is our office manager. Somehow the Network seems to attract really wonderful people to work and volunteer here…and we are so thankful for that.