Our Executive Director Nikki Barraclough Answers Our Questions
- Tell us a bit about your job at Prevent Breast Cancer.
I’m the executive director, which basically means I run the charity and help it to grow. There are many parallels with running a small/ medium-sized business; for example, my role is incredibly varied, from day-to-day operations, to leading the fundraising, marketing and finance teams and developing the business plans and strategy. I also report directly to our board of trustees and work very closely with our PR agency.
- What makes you so passionate about the charity and what inspired you to become part of the team?
Definitely the cause! How can I not be passionate?! Around 55,000 people in the UK are diagnosed each year and this figure is increasing – I’ve met so many incredible people since working for Prevent Breast Cancer, from families directly affected by the disease to the amazing scientists behind our research. I truly believe in our vision and what we’re trying to achieve – I just hope we can continue to grow and fund more research. I hope that one day the charity doesn’t need to exist, as we will have achieved our goal, but we’ve got a long way to go and that’s what continues to drive and inspire me.
- What’s your favourite part of your job?
I enjoy so many parts of my job as it can be extremely varied. I get the opportunity to build great, meaningful relationships with many of our supporters and volunteers and I feel very lucky that this is part of my job. I also really enjoy the strategic side of the business and although it can be stressful, it can be very rewarding as I’ve got a great team. I enjoy PR and raising awareness of our brand, as well as getting creative and involved with our fundraising events, which can be a lot of fun.
- Has there been any particular highlight?
I couldn’t possibly choose one highlight, but I thoroughly enjoyed leading the charity’s rebrand from Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention – this was a major milestone for us and one that hopefully put us on the map alongside the bigger, more well-known charities.
I also love organising our annual fundraising balls – I can’t choose my favourite one as each year has been special for different reasons.
Other highlights include the London to Paris bike ride in 2016; seeing our logo on Roberts Bakery wholemeal bread as part of a fundraising campaign; pitching the charity to a large Corporate Trust and securing a significant donation; and seeing our name in national press…I still get excited every time!
- Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Morag Siller, who was a great friend and a patron of the charity. Sadly, Mo passed away from breast cancer in 2016, but her determination and feistiness drive me every day.
I was fortunate to hear businesswoman Martha Lane Fox speak at an event and she’s incredibly inspiring.
- If you weren’t in this job, what might you be doing?
When I was a teenager I would change my mind every few weeks! Jobs that interested me included fashion buying, event planning, war reporting and at one point I even wanted to be a criminologist!
- What do you like doing outside of work?
I love travelling, experiencing different cultures and cuisines. I also enjoy cycling, being active and going for long walks, spending time with my family and close friends. I also love the cinema. I’ve done a few film classes over the years and I really enjoy learning about new directors and discovering films and TV from all over the world.
- Who would be your five dream dinner party guests?
Can I have 6?! They’d have to be Brian Blessed, Graham Norton, Dame Judi Dench, Miriam Margolyes, Robert Downey Jnr and Donald Trump (he can’t be real! I would love to see my other guests question him!).
- What’s on the top of your bucket list?
To trek to Everest Base Camp, which I think I might be doing for Prevent Breast Cancer in November 2018! I also really want to go to Japan.
- What’s your claim to fame?
For one of our charity campaigns I painted one of Jerry Hall’s fingernails, as well as those of Ricky Hatton and several Manchester City players (which I didn’t want to do as I support Manchester United!). I’ve also exchanged emails with Benedict Cumberbatch, who donated his T-shirt from his performance in Hamlet in memory of Morag Siller.