n this week’s blog, we meet Michael Warne, our new Fundraising Officer. A native of Cambridge, Michael joins the team to fill Juliet’s sizeable shoes, who is leaving the AKU Society to travel the world. Juliet will be sorely missed, but we look forward to working with Michael. To read Juliet’s final blog and find out what she will be up to, please head here.

What were you doing before you joined the AKU Society?

Until September, I was living in Falmouth, Cornwall, where I studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Exeter. During my degree, I became really interested in the issues of climate and social justice. This led me to volunteer at a community project tackling food insecurity for two years. My degree and volunteering showed me that I am happiest when I am using my time to help others and improve society. After finishing my degree, I came home to Cambridge and did a placement working on a zero-waste initiative for Terracycle. I am now really excited to take my next step in my career in the charity sector working at the AKU Society.

What attracted you to this role?

I’ve always been really interested in politics and the way the world works, but over the course of my degree, I focused on the way in which individuals and communities can come together to make a change. Because of this, I am really excited to be able to work directly with AKU patients and engaging with the rare disease community to work towards curing AKU. I was also drawn to this role to be able to work in a small team at the AKU Society, but still being able to have a big impact in the rare disease community. I’m also really looking forward to being part of the important role the AKU Society plays in supporting AKU patients.

What do you hope to achieve in the role?

I’m aiming to work together with the team to encourage the continued growth of the AKU Society, allowing more patients to receive support and continue the search for a cure for AKU. In particular, I want to help to continue to empower AKU patients and grow the support network the AKU society can provide to help tackle the isolation and mental health issues that can arise as a result of being diagnosed with AKU.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work I love to be outdoors and active. I enjoy playing all kinds of sports like football, tennis, and cycling. When I’m not busy playing sport, I love to read, cook, and go to gigs.