Day in the life: Business Support Assistant

Emily Burrows
September 4, 2023

I’m Emily, I’m the Business Support Assistant for Shannon Trust and I have been working here for just over a year. Since I started, the staff team has grown rapidly from 14 to over 50, so my role is always evolving. When I found this job, I knew I wanted to work in the charity sector and have a positive impact on people in one way or another, but I never thought about the literacy problems in prison. I was amazed to find out 50% of people in prison struggle to read (and everyone I say that statistic to are also shocked!) and now I am very passionate about helping the cause.  

A typical day begins with checking my emails to see what tasks today will bring. Every day is different, and I never get bored of problem solving! I will have contact from staff, volunteers and partner organisations asking questions from a staff member needing to book a hotel for a prison visit to a new volunteer needing a DBS check.  

Being an administrator, I do a little bit of everything from finance (processing expenses and paying invoices) to HR for our growing staff team. Logging donations from individual donors and trusts and foundations always brings a smile to my face as we couldn’t do the work we do without donations. Setting up new volunteer Shannon Trust email addresses is another highlight as it is brilliant to see how many volunteers engage with us. Again, we couldn’t do the work we do without them!

My favourite part of the role is hearing heartwarming real life stories from the operational team about lives we have changed now that their reading skills have improved. Hearing that a prisoner is now able to send and receive letters from their children always brings a tear to my eye and makes me feel very privileged to be in such a wonderful job.  

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