Let the Fundraising begin

So 106 sleeps until the desert. Yikes! Are we ready? I am not sure I can speak for my fellow trekkers but I certainly don’t feel ready yet. There’s a certain sense of panic setting in, however the teams and individuals are focussing on fundraising and this last week has seen a flurry of events.

cake-saleCake sales, bottle tombola’s, collections at Xmas parties, pub quizzes, craft fairs and book sales, trekkers are turning their hands at all manner of activities as they raise their own and their team’s fundraising targets. 7 EY trekkers have raised over £1,000 in personal sponsorship. The group is now over a Quarter of the way to the target and the Lord’s Taveners have also been busy with a series of Xmas lunches and dinners. Long walks are recommended to burn off all those additional calories!


Training is stepping up as an initial series of 3 walks are planned for the next few weeks: Box Hill, a Yorkshire romp and a trek across Wimbledon Common………. Core training lunges and breaking in the walking boots all pre-requisite to a successful trip.


For me, I am resting…a back spasm has halted my training programme for the last 10 days, with 3 visits to the Osteopath and enforced rest adding to my panic. My training was going well- I was enjoying my Saturday morning training sessions with Sandip my personal trainer (more to follow) and long walks….so during my mandatory down-time I have resorted to scouring the internet for Go-Pro advice and how to make and edit video clips as I start the make the blog more interactive for you, the reader.

In this instalment also a little introduction to the two charities. There will be more to follow about the trekking team and the work of the charities, including our objectives and lasting legacy for greater collaboration in support of the youngsters and the causes that both charities support.

The EY Foundation                                                                         

About the EY Foundation: The EY Foundation is a UK registered charity that works directly with disadvantaged young people, employers and social entrepreneurs to create or support pathways to education, employment or enterprise. EY Foundation is an independent UK charity that builds and delivers its own programmes, working hand in hand with third parties and volunteers. The Foundation operates and is incorporated independently of EY and is governed by a separate trustee board.

Watch this video to meet some of the young people the charity works with.

The Lord’s Taverners                                                         

About the Lord’s Taverners: The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, whose objective is to give disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance. Every year, the Lord’s Taverners donates over £3 million to help young people of all abilities and backgrounds participate in sporting activities.

You can find out more about the work of the charity by watching this short film.



The journey begins

Welcome to this first instalment in my blog.

It has taken me a few weeks to put pen to paper and start this blog, following my agreement to become Lead Partner for the 2017 Sahara trek in aid of TWO fantastic charities (theEY Foundation and Lord’s Taverners).

Why so long? Well a great friend challenged me as to what my legacy would be from this event. A great question and one which had me thinking for some time – during my train journeys, on walks with the dog and any spare moments (those that know me, know that spare moments are rare!)

After contemplating their question, it’s clear to me that what I do believe in are the causes both the charities support. As a family we are committed to cricket; both my children (Kristian, 22 and Natasha, 19) play to a reasonably high standard (County and representative cricket) and we have previously run the facilities for a local cricket club where Steve Finn trained and played and I held the award for the best cricket teas for the 3 years I made them…Umpires would elect to come to Langleybury for my catering!

I have am also dedicated to supporting the experiences of young people in the workplace through my on going commitment to the EY graduate and internship schemes.

But that’s not the reason I am determined to build a better ‘working’ world for the causes these charities support. Yes, anyone can walk a desert – all it requires is determination, a bit of training, the right shoes, an excellent guide and a positive mental attitude. Will it be hard? Of course it will. Will there be times I doubt why I signed up for/ agreed to this? Of course.

Many of my colleagues have already experienced the wonders and delights of this trip, but for me how I start to plan before and, in particular, after the event is vital in raising awareness of the charities and what my legacy will be.

I guess some of this determination to leave a legacy and change the world as we know it might come from my Great Aunt – Emeline Pankhurst. Perhaps my stubborn streak and desire to keep the family tradition inspires me to ensure that this – a walk in the Sahara – is only the start of the journey in building a better working world…

Coming Up: The team behind the two charities, meet the trekkers joining me, my journey to desert fitness, upcoming fundraising events…

Please click here to donate to these two great charities, as I lead our 50 trekkers across the Sahara…