Queen's Now meets...Helen Barnes

Queen's Now meets...Helen Barnes

Helen Barnes, Head of Medical Fundraising (Individual Giving)

With the recent launch of Queen’s £140m fundraising campaign and the news that the University has secured £32m in funding to create a world-leading Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s Now spoke to Helen Barnes, Head of Medical Fundraising (Individual Giving), to find out more.

What does your role entail?
I was appointed to this new role in the Development and Alumni Relations Office in January 2012 to set up a programme for medical fundraising.  My specific remit is to secure donations from individuals for the research priorities within the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, helping the School to realise its mission of becoming a global leader in medical and biomedical research with an emphasis on translational research activity

What is your background?
I am no stranger to the University having formerly worked as an Events and Conferencing Manager within Eventus. I left the University four years ago to take up the role of Senior Local Engagement and Development Manager with Cancer Research UK, based in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology. My background is in fundraising, public relations and marketing and my fundraising career began with the NSPCC.  I went on to take up the post of Marketing Manager for Laganside Corporation, responsible for marketing and developing the riverside area of Belfast

Why is the fundraising campaign so important to Queen’s and Northern Ireland?
Queen’s is well advanced in creating an internationally recognised Institute of Health Sciences.  The University has already invested more than £90m in the Institute with £85m more planned over the next five years. In addition to benefiting the local economy, philanthropic support will enable us to expand and accelerate our research and ensure that discoveries in the lab translate as quickly as possible in to improved outcomes for patients both locally and globally. 

What are the main challenges in your role?
In the current economic climate, there are increasing demands on everyone’s disposable income but Queen’s is a well-known brand, recognised for the quality of its innovative and world-leading research and I find that donors are keen to share in its success and the ensuing impact on patients’ lives.

For further information on the new fundraising campaign, visit www.queensfoundation.com

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