Meet The Team
Carrie Benn - Fundraising and Development Officer
Hi, my name is Carrie Benn and I’m the Fundraising & Development Officer for Spirasi. I was born in London to an Irish family and in 2006 relocated to manage a Women’s Foundation in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. I’m a part qualified accountant, passionate feminist and believe in equality for all. My interests outside of work are varied: gardening is a big passion of mine alongside walking and visits to the beach. I try and keep fit with Boxercise and swimming. Somewhat conversely I suppose I love the outdoors as well as a big cosy fire, with a good book and a hot mug of coffee.
Many years ago I sang in an ABBA tribute band to pay for my accountancy studies! (and before you ask, my poor version of Agnetha is firmly in retirement!)
What attracted you to your role at Spirasi?
I’m strong minded, ambitious and believe in challenges and personal growth outside of my comfort zone. What attracted me to this role that was, as someone with nearly 15 years in the charity sector across the UK, the NI Border region and Ireland, I had never heard of Spirasi – or indeed of any support system for victims of torture on the island of Ireland. The more I researched Spirasi, the more fascinated I became with the large output of work by such a relatively small group of workers in such a specialist area. I’ve been fundraising in various formats for over a decade but really wanted the challenge of being a part of building something from the ground up.
What are the challenges and rewards of your job?
The job of fundraising is always a challenging one, even in large NGOs and not for profits. Designing and implementing a strategy, from scratch, in a pandemic, will no doubt go on my CV as the biggest one yet! However, the toughest climbs yield the best rewards. My role is to develop relationships as well as identify unrestricted monies and one of the biggest rewards so far has been enriching the relationships, we have with the Spiritan schools. Meeting and getting to know some of Spirasi’s survivors has been really special. I feel privileged to be able to do so. The best bit about what I do, and a unique selling point for this charity, is that you aren’t 5000 miles away from the project you’re donating money too or a village you’re trying to make improvements; our beneficiaries are just one step removed from us. Someone donating time and effort to a medical charity willnever be present at that scientific breakthrough or moment someone recovers…. with Spirasi, the life you hope to be making better could be in therapy with a professional just a few feet away.