Fundraiser in focus - Trish Watson

Trish Watson MSWA Community Events Fundraising Coordinator

Many of you in our Fundraising community will have had the pleasure of dealing with Trish Watson, one of our Community Events and Fundraising Coordinators.

You will be delighted to hear that our very own Trish will be abseiling down Perth’s tallest building on 8 November to raise money for people living with neurological conditions.

“Doing the Plunge was certainly not something I had ever thought much about – I have a very healthy fear of heights!” explains Trish.

Yet, after helping to coordinate last year’s Central Park Plunge for MSWA, Trish says she got caught up in the excitement.

“When people come down it’s so emotional because they’ve challenged themselves – they’ve taken on Central Park and won. I got swept up and proclaimed that I was going to take part the next time. Afterwards, I prayed that no one would hold me accountable!”

However, as registration for this year’s event approached, Trish soon realised that people had not forgotten her promise.

“Maria, one of our Customers, asked, ‘Are you doing it?’ and I said ‘Yes, I’m doing it!’ I couldn’t back out.”

Trish started working at MSWA in 2016, in a part-time role with the Lotteries team, helping at the show homes.

“Then, I was invited to help in the Events team, and they haven’t been able to get rid of me since,” she jokes.

Trish grew up in South Australia but has lived in WA for the past 20 years, and now lives in Rockingham. Her background was in hospitality, working in kitchens, bars, restaurants, and hotels.

“I love anything to do with people,” says Trish, which she says is what makes her work with the MSWA Events team so rewarding.

“I like the variety of things we do. I love going out and talking to people, meeting the Customers.”

Trish says her favourite event on the MSWA calendar is probably the Albany Swim, because it is hands-on, and she gets to work closely with a smaller group of participants.

She also loves the MSWA Ocean Ride, particularly the Stationary Cycle Challenge, in which our Customers take part during their weekly physiotherapy sessions. “I love going to the Outreach Centres to congratulate the participants and give out medals,” explains Trish. “And I get to talk to everyone – meeting our Customers is what I love best!”

With regard to the upcoming Central Park Plunge, Trish says she is least looking forward to that first step over the edge, and most looking forward to having her two feet back on the ground.

“Once I get over the edge, I should be fine, but I’m sure I’m going to scream all the way down.”

“I’ve talked Lou Bedford from the MSWA Call Centre into joining me. So we can scream together, as Lou is not a lover of heights either.”

In 2020, there will be 48 participants, working in teams of four ‘taking the plunge’ for MSWA.

Joining Trish and Lou as MSWA staff members are four Care Support Workers from our Beechboro Outreach Centre, Individual Options and Hamilton Hill Supported Accommodation.

And of course, our CEO Marcus Stafford will be donning an abseiling harness once again!

Trish, who is excited to also be joined by five MSWA Customers she takes real inspiration from – Maria Fazio, Bob Ramshaw, Sharon Murray, Kirsty Edoo and Mauritz Oberholzer.

“I know I’m in good company for the day.”

Trish’s only prior experience of abseiling was the training day organised for the 2019 Central Park Plunge participants, who insisted she join the fun. “I had no intention of abseiling on the day, but before I knew it, I was suited up and being pushed up a ladder,” laughs Trish.

An experienced Plunger has advised Trish to remember to look around when she’s up there, not just focus on the building in front of her.

“For a brief moment, I might glimpse the city skyline,” says Trish. “Then I’ll be back clutching the ropes, with white knuckles!”

Trish’s goal is to raise $2,500 for MSWA via sponsorship from friends, colleagues, and family.

“For those who can’t, I will. I don’t mind putting myself out of my comfort zone for a couple of hours to benefit people who spend their life with a neurological condition.”

Find out more about the Central Park Plunge here.