Emma Kovaleski is our new Fundraising Manager helping us so we can enhance the care we provide for our patients and their families.
Here the mum-of-three tells us why she loves running, being home with her family and why astronaut Helen Sharman inspires her.
Hello My Name Is....Emma and I am a mum to three wonderful boys, Logan (8), Flynn (5) and Stanley (2), a Huddersfield lass, and live within a 5 minute walk to HRI.
My boys are my absolute world and I love nothing more than sleepy morning cuddles, getting home from work and seeing their excited little faces or spending time watching them take part in their various sporting activities.
I love being busy, and sitting still is not in my nature, much to the frustration of my husband. I am happiest too outside rather than in and I guess this is one of the reasons why I am such a passionate runner too. I run for pleasure, but can also be found taking part in a variety of races up and down the country (half marathons being my personal favourite) – my next race being Edinburgh Marathon this May!
What is your position?
Summarise your career background
With a social conscious!
I guess this all started 30 some years ago when I helped my family run a charity stall in the entrance to HRI – as a way of saying thank you for the incredible support my younger sister received from the Children’s Diabetic clinic. Who would have thought so many years down the line I would be here as the Trusts Fundraising Manager.
Since leaving University, I have spent over 10 years working for a national Community Interest Company, securing funding and mobilising domestic energy efficiency projects – with the main aim of reducing carbon emissions and fuel poverty. From there, in 2016, I joined Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice as Head of Corporate Fundraising and more recently I have been leading the fundraising team at Brake, the road safety charity.
Making a difference has and always will be incredibly important to me, and this is why I have love working within the third sector. As a working mum, I take great pride in sharing stories about the places where I work, what I do and why I do it with my boys – in the hope that they grow up with a real passion for supporting this sector too.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
Can I have two?
The first of course is securing my role here at CHFT, I don’t think I have stopped smiling yet.
I feel so incredibly fortunate to be in the role of Fundraising Manager and have the opportunity to shape and manage the future of our Trust Charity. I get to work collaboratively across all divisions, ensuring the charity continues to support our Trust, and its patents, their loved ones, our local communities and of course our colleagues. And I just wanted to say a huge thankyou to everyone I have met so far for making me so welcome, and your support and enthusiasm for the growth and development of our Charity.
The second, which is a little less meaningful, but a real personal highlight would be securing £15m of the £30m pitched to the Scottish Government to fund a domestic energy efficiency program across Scotland. After securing the funding I and a colleague were seconded to work for the Energy Saving Trust Scotland for 12 months to establish the project and manage the allocation of the funds, on behalf of the Government.
Sum up your role in three words
Making a difference.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A mounted police officer.
Who is your hero/heroine and why?
Helen Sharman OBE has always been a memorable heroine of mine, as the first British Astronaut. Helen visited my primary school, and I can remember vividly her recount of the mission, the challenges she faced in training, the environment she had to become accustomed to – and even the dehydrated space food she had to eat.
I instantly became incredibly inspired and proud of Helen's achievements, yes she secured her place on the mission above 13,000 other applicants, but she was also one of the youngest ever astronauts and not only the first British Astronaut into space but the first female Astronaut into space.
Helen inspired my and continues to inspire my sense of determination, my focus on achieving and above all else my sense of adventure.
I am not sure if Helen will recall her trip to Outlane Infant and Junior school back in 1991/92, but I certainly do.
When you are not at work, how do you relax?
I run, I can think about everything or think about nothing, just my trainers, my Garmin, fresh air and I.
What is your favourite place?
There are so many! However I have to say, my most favourite place to be is with my boys……..so does home count?
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I used to live in Elk River, Minnesota. And the winter Logan was born (2010/11) was the 4th snowiest for 127 years, with 86.6 inches of snow measured for that winter season alone, and the 5th coldest since records began with a low of -46OF / -43OC
She completed the Edinburgh Marathon last weekend and reports: " It was very wet, super windy with 18mph headwinds and 39mph gusts for the last 8 miles!
"But.....I loved every minute. The route was great, even a little trail run from 17 to 19miles. With the added bonus of seeing my husband and boys at mile 14 and 22 to cheer me along.
"The wind slowed me down, but I still achieved a PB of 4 hours 27 mins and 10 seconds. Now onto my next race in August (racing a canal barge from Tunnel End to Diggle) and Kielder Marathon in October."