Blessing’s baby bump rings the changes

March 15, 2024

We’re delighted to share the news that Blessing Chishiri, our Events & Communications Officer, is expecting her second child in May, and will be heading off on maternity leave very soon.

Stepping into her shoes is marketing professional Katie Hayward, who joined the ILM earlier this month on a 12-month maternity cover role for Blessing.

Blessing and husband Sami are already parents to four-year-old Jazmine and can’t wait for the patter of tiny feet to fill their home again.

“We are so looking forward to welcoming our new baby – we’re keeping the gender a surprise until the big day – although the one thing I’m less keen on is the sleepless nights again,” jokes Blessing. “Jazmine starts school in September so she is very excited about everything that’s happening this year and we can’t wait either.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at the ILM, and especially Matthew and the Board, everyone has been so supportive and made the transition really seamless for Katie and I. I’ll really miss talking to all our members but I think it’s safe to say I’ll have my hands full for a while.”

Katie has spent the last six years working for a global hearing aid manufacturer and during her career has been involved in a number of charity-related projects.

She freely admits that the legacy sector is new to her, but says she’s enjoying finding out more and is looking forward to meeting members at this year’s ILM Conference.

“There is so much to learn, it’s very different to the corporate world in that everybody has a strong desire to do their very best for the organisation and the charities they work for,” she said.

“I’m already finding out just how important the role of legacy officers is within the charity sector as a whole and it’s nice to be a part of that. There is a real sense of teamwork, people have been so willing to share their knowledge and help me understand more about legacy management. Everyone has been so welcoming and approachable, they’ve made me feel part of the team from day one.

“The conference sounds like an amazing event, I’m very much looking forward to it. Blessing has already done so much work already, and I’ll be there to meet members and help make sure everything runs smoothly.”

Katie dipped her toe in the charity fundraising water in her previous jobs, most recently in 2022, when she devised and organised a fundraising gala and auction – the first of its kind in the industry – raising more than £26,000 for Alzheimer’s Society and Claire House Children’s Hospice.

Prior to that, she led a team of four colleagues on a charity initiative which raised around £10,000 for Macmillan by taking part in a 24-hour exercise bike ride, and in October 2017, she climbed Mount Snowdon with colleagues to raise nearly £1,000 for the same charity.

Outside of work, Katie is mum to Olivia, aged seven, and five-year-old Oscar, and loves watching films and baking with the children at the weekend, as well as getting out for long walks in the countryside.

Blessing’s last day before going on maternity leave will be April 11 and we’re sure you’ll join us in wishing her all the very best as her family of three becomes four.


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