Leslie Sinoway is a senior press officer for the anti-poverty charity ActionAid who loves shoes, stationery, cooking and travelling in no particular order. She is also writing a novel for young adults and it’s her greatest ambition to have it finished in 2015.
Describe a typical day for you?
I know everyone says this but there are no two days the same in my line of work. One day I could be contacting celebrity chefs to ask for their support for our #BakeADifference campaign which encourages people to create recipes based on the countries we are focusing on as part of our Christmas campaign…
The next I could be meeting a journalist/venue/artist to discuss our women’s rights work and planning out the best way collaborate so that we can make as much noise about International Women’s Day in March 2015 as possible.
I could also be visiting our work on the ground in one of the 40 countries that we work by either using my journalistic nose to sniff out a good story or accompanying a celebrity and directing a crew to make a film about our existing work for a specific campaign like our current child sponsorship campaign where we are looking for 2700 people to sponsor children and #GiveAFuture.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Being enthusiastic, positive and passionate about all that I do. It sounds a bit twee, but I get a real sense of satisfaction from tackling a project, getting to be creative and then seeing it fly.
In my current role I have really enjoyed being able to publicise the types of stories that people don’t always want to hear as they are painful issues to deal with or think that they’ve heard too many times.
I pride myself on always finding a way to find space and persuading the media to talk about ways to help children and women (in particular)in a new and engaging way.
I was also the Editor of two leading young women’s magazines for many years as well as an agony aunt and helping millions of young girls to negotiate their way through puberty feels like a big achievement.
What’s in your handbag?
A cute notebook, a space pen (you never know when you might need to write on an angle!) and lots of mini red pretty bags! One decorated with red flowers for my money and cards, another is my jam-packed make-up bag which my best friend just gave me for Christmas. A stack of unwritten Christmas cards ..and of course my Kindle (bookworm alert!).
What are your ambitions in life?
To finish the book I am writing and to write more. I want to be constantly challenged creatively while helping others. I would love to live somewhere really warm one day (once magic carpets have been invented so I can quickly zoom back to see all the people I love whenever I want).
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Doing more of the above!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field?
Jump at every opportunity that comes your way. I strongly believe that you learn by doing. In my experience whenever I’ve pushed myself that little bit out of my comfort zone I’ve progressed immensely or learnt a new skill that has come in handy later.
It’s a bit cheesy, but I always tell the young people that I manage that there is no such thing as a silly question – you’re just silly if you don’t ask about something you don’t understand. Pipe up!
Finally, happiness is…
New shoes! Well, yes but more importantly to feel happy and to always be in touch with how lucky I am to have such a full life surrounded by friends and family. I only wish the same for all the children and communities we work with.
ActionAid is urging people across the UK to think of others who are less fortunate this Christmas and in particular children living in the world’s poorest and most dangerous countries who are scared, hungry and may not have a future.
ActionAid’s Christmas appeal is aiming to help over 2,700 children who are desperately in need by finding sponsors for them in the UK.
Sponsorship costs just £15 a month and gives the unique experience of connecting with an individual child and their community through regular updates and letters.
Want to help on Twitter? Follow #GiveAFuture and RT all the fantastic blogger and celeb support we’re getting.