Annual Review 2016

This is the first annual report that I have written. The intention is to make them a very short and concise summary of the year past.

Before I do that I would like to indulge slightly, in what has been achieved since my Dad’s death in 2008.

We set out in July 2009 for the first of our Dorset walks, we managed to raise £6000, with fewer than 30 participants. It was an incredible success, everyone that took part thoroughly enjoyed the walk; we had awoken a sleeping giant. In 2012 we set up The Malcolm Whales Foundation, by 2016 we had raised in excess of £100,000, a truly remarkable achievement.

On a personal level, the pride I feel from the creation of the charity, is beyond measure. Walking down the Weymouth seafront with my eldest son, in memory of my Dad, will remain one of the proudest moments of my life! I hope both my boys become involved and help me and the trustees continue to drive the charity from strength to strength. Many people say to me ‘your Dad would be very proud’, I truly hope so. The charity embodies many of his beliefs and passions, long may it continue!

2016 Charitable Events

2016 was the year that may never have been. Ely College had been a fantastic supporter of the charity. Unfortunately a change in leadership resulted in some very short sighted and bizarre decision making. It threw a big cloud over the walk, the students were extremely upset and took on the leadership and even wrote to the local press to gather support for the walk.

In the end, we had to organise the walk in the summer holidays. Which as expected had a hugely negative impact on the number of people able to participate. In spite of the low numbers; the addition of RAF Wyton, Climbing Out and other non-school participants has probably enabled us to broaden our horizons.

Other positives though must include the reinvention of the 12 hours of sport, with Ely and Rushden combining to raise £2600.

Charity partners

We have added Edgars Gift as an official partner. Climbing Out remains an ongoing partner and this year we created a more unofficial link with Sailability; mostly though the support of Fred German (Keldy’s Dad and a volunteer with Sailability, at Grafham Water).

Our Charitable donations in 2016

• £4,000 to Edgars Gift. The money was used for purchase a holiday home, providing free holidays for cancer sufferers.
•£2500 to Sailability. This helped the creation of a new clubhouse for their participants.
•£500 donation to the Doddinton guides who were raising money for children’s cancer.
•There was no donation to Climbing Out this year due to their restructuring and rebuilding activities. The week’s sponsorship for 2017 has already been confirmed


There were changes in the Trustees. Geoff Bonnett stood down as trustee and has become a founding patron for the charity.

We added Jack Edge and Neil Welsh to our group of Trustees. The Current team are: Damien Whales, Stuart Patman, Doug Bentley, Tony McInally, James Thorp, Courtney, Jack Emery, Neil Welsh and Jack Edge.


Thanks to: 

•Frontier Agri for their £500 to the 2016 walk costs.
•Greys of Ely for the sponsorship of the coach and travel.

Press coverage

Both the Ely Standard and Ely Weekly news remain fantastic supporters of the walk, thank you for the fantastic coverage. Including the front page of the Weekly news!


We have finished the year financially strong. Whilst we have set up partnerships with Edgars Gift and Climbing Out, we are still very much looking for more causes to support.

The year ahead

 The walk looks set to be the biggest yet, there is an outside possibility we might make 150 participants.

Liz Whales (my Mum) in her role as Ladies Captain at Barnham Broom, has made the Malcolm Whales Foundation her charity of the year. There is a golf day on the 25th August 2017.

We are hope to grow a strong partnership with Edgars Gift, Climbing Out and TMWF all working together. A meeting is planned for early in the year to get the 3 charities together.

We would welcome increased uptake in both of our major events. The goal for the walk is 500 participants. The 12 hours, I would simply like as many schools involved as possible.

Finally thanks to everybody who has supported us financially or through time and effort. It is appreciated enormously.

Onwards and upwards!

Damien Whales
TMWF Chairman

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