Michelle Fourie and Courtney Ogle

Our Work / Michelle Fourie and Courtney Ogle

Sovereign marketing specialists Michelle Fourie and Courtney Ogle would be the first to tell you: there are more innovative ways to volunteer for a charity than simply jingling a bucket.

These two North Shore women spent the day with Mental Health Foundation staff imparting their business and marketing know-how to help our annual bullying awareness campaign Pink Shirt Day to be better than ever.

As well as reviewing social media, and looking at what worked and what didn't for the inaugural campaign last year, the pair helped brainstorm new ideas for Pink Shirt Day 2015.

Insurance company Sovereign encourages its staff to take one day off a year to do charity work.

"I thought it would be great to be involved in something that's using my skills in a different way," Courtney (25) says.

Courtney’s a consumer engagement specialist and Michelle, 29, works in the brand team as assistant marketing manager.

Between them, the duo hold qualifications in business management studies, strategic management and public relations, arts and business psychology.

Being part of a great cause

Both Courtney and Michelle have family or friends who been touched by mental illness or bullying, but these links alone were not the drivers to become involved with the MHF.

"I just saw it as a really great cause and a really great chance to get involved in something different," Courtney says.

“This is an awesome way to volunteer and give back by using our skills and experience, knowing we’re adding value to a great cause and a campaign that is going to be ongoing and continue to grow,” Michelle says.

And in the process, these women got more than they bargained for! What they didn't expect was to learn so much about the not-for-profit sector and get as much out of the day as they did.

"We feel a lot closer to the campaign, we got so much out of it and connected with the message," Courtney says.

"We both walked away feeling like we had added value," Michelle says. Plus, they learned strategies they could apply in their own work.

Sovereign staff will to continue to support Pink Shirt Day in other ways as the countdown begins for 22 May 2015.