I’m Ben, and I’m delighted to support the Malcolm Whales Foundation as a Patron.
I first came across the charity when Damien, the founder, came to ask my fellow governors and I at Ely College if he could take students away for the Dorset Walk during term time. Whilst this was a no-brainer for me, I enjoyed watching Damien persuade some of the more sceptical governors, explaining what students had got out of it in previous years. He was a truly passionate advocate of both his charity, and of the walk’s educational value for the children involved. Needless to say, he turned them around, but I too was hooked.
A couple of years later, in 2016, with some choppy water under the bridge, my daughter and I signed up for our first Whales Walk. So many things impressed me about the event, but what struck me most powerfully was watching some of the students overcome their own personal challenges and develop both as individuals and as friends with one another as the miles took their toll.
For the developmental impact of events like this on young people cannot be overestimated, especially where they are giving something back to people less fortunate than themselves. We’ve done the Walk twice now, and are signed up for our third in 2018. On both occasions, it really was a privilege to walk with these young fundraisers, and I gained a very healthy respect both for them, and for those who take part having battled cancer and who still carry the scars; physical and mental.
I’ve developed a very deep respect for Damien and all those involved in running the Foundation itself, as well as the work of the charities it supports. The very fact that my daughter I can get up, put our boots on, and tackle an event like this means, for me, that we are duty bound to support those who can’t, or who find it more difficult than we do. Likewise, I am unapologetic in pointing out this duty to others. So I am very much looking forward to getting more engaged in the Foundation as a Patron, and doing what I can to promote its work and interests.