When The Malcolm Whales Foundation was being created by Damien, I was privileged to be asked to become a Trustee. Why would I turn down the opportunity to be a part of something so incredible?
As I look back, we have some fantastic events which have developed over the years which allow us to provide some amazing support to charities, hospitals and individuals. Who knew in 2008, when it all started, it would grow to this! The first Sponsored Walk in Dorset started with a small group of students from Ely College. I am so glad to have been a part of the first walk and since its beginning, I haven’t missed a single year.
When I look back over the years, it’s great to think about how many of our teenagers have been involved in raising money for such a great cause. The school has also supported the students, enabling visits to children’s cancer wards during Christmas’ to share gifts, all funded by The Malcolm Whales Foundation.
It’s been really pleasing to see the walk expand from just 30 students, to 400+, including friends, families and many other external organisations. In recent years we’ve had members of the RAF, Climbing Out and Edgars Gift, two charities we now work in partnership with. The 2020 Non-Dorset Walk really showed people’s true colours, many people walking in their local areas (as we couldn’t attend Dorset) to raise money for the charity. While I missed the experience taking our students down to Dorset brings, The Non-Dorset Walk proved to us ways we can expand and accommodate more people; providing huge benefits all round.
I came into teaching to inspire students and give them real life experiences. Those involved with the Foundation would agree, it’s an excellent way to engage young people in an amazing experience, one which they will remember for many years to come. This does not apply to just the Dorset Walk, its being a part of the organisation, meeting and working with others, seeing the impact the work of the charity has and knowing there was a contribution.
On a personal level my family and friends have also joined in the fundraising efforts of the Foundation, which has been so rewarding to see. I look forward to my now 2 year old, growing up and joining us in the work we do.
In my spare time I enjoy sports, skiing being a big passion of mine. I also enjoy a good practice walk with my walking companion, Tess my dog; and we get many of these every week. She’s even completed the walk three times (I wish I could have taken her more). Not bad for four short legs.
When I think this is the year the charity has grown and really taken off, the next year seems to prove it is just the start as it grows in support and partnerships. I know in a few more years, things may look very different from what it did a few years back when we reached our 10year anniversary.