Sunday, 20 May 2012

Giving Back

I look back at the last few years of my life, and I have had a pretty good run you could say. I've seen some amazing sights, had some amazing adventures and I've been pretty lucky to be able to do all these things.

Something I have always been passionate about, is giving back. I have always tried to incorporate charities into everything I've done. When I crossed the Atlantic, it was for RYA Sailabilty, going around the world was for the Tall Ships Youth Trust & Save the Children. The bounty boat project was for the Sheffield Institute Foundation, for research into motor neurone disease. The Youth Sydney Hobart Campaign, was for the World Food Programme.

Recently I have been doing some volunteering for the Tall Ships Youth Trust. Mid April, we took out a bunch of teenagers for a week’s sailing on the south coast, and the difference it made to the guys was awesome. The trust is all about empowering young people, and I definitely saw that happen. We were sailing one of the Trust's Challenger 72's. This is quite a big boat and is very physical to handle, it definitely got the guys working pretty hard. So hard in fact, they were all asleep by 10pm every night! I look forward to doing some more volunteering for them this coming year. It is very rewarding seeing these young people grow during the week. For more info on the trust, check out the website, I also strongly recommend this charity as a great place to learn how to sail in a fun team building environment.

On another tack, I have recently started to support the Disaster Relief Charity, ShelterBox. The charity, ShelterBox aim to deliver emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disasters around the world. Yesterday, the YoungShelterBox branch of the charity were holding a fantastic event in London called the London Scavenger Hunt which I was very honoured to be asked to help out with.

This Scavenger Hunt, was made up of around 100 teams of scouts and cubs, running around London with an empty ShelterBox - Pretty cool! After registration, the teams set off soon after 10am with the quickest arriving back shortly after 1pm – quite a feat! I was on hand to welcome them back, hand out prizes for the winners and speak to them about the great work that ShelterBox does.

ShelterBox has become a big part of my life recently and I will be working with the charity closely throughout this year. Stay tuned for more announcements!…