BAE Systems Surface Ships Ltd
Portsmouth Charity Challenge
The Charity Challenge team at Portsmouth supported the Children’s fund over two years and raised over £78,000 through their amazing fundraising efforts. They also put in hundreds of volunteer hours at fundraising events and working directly with the families we support.
Their support both increased our income with all their ingenious ways of engaging with their colleagues at BAE Systems, raising money for the charity as well as creating interest in the work we do. They also gave the office support by:-
- Designing and setting up an accounting database which satisfies our new Auditor and the Charity Commission.
- Helping us to publicise the work of the children’s fund and physical help with fundraising events.
- Helping us with the children’s art competition and tea party for children from a wide radius aroundPortsmouth,Southamptonand up to Hartley Witney.
- Helping several of our beneficiary families inPortsmouth, and one in particular, where you made the garden a safe place for their two teenage boys who have autism.
- Donating a television to a family who do not have one.
- Engaging with the RM Commando team that set themselves some amazing challenges to raise money for the children making posters and helping them with publicity.
Fundraising events including:
- Running a spectacularly successful photographic competition
- A Christmas ball
- Ladies Pamper evening
- A sponsored mile around the Naval base
- Craft fairs
- Pub quiz
- Football tournament
- Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
The team consisted of:
They recently won a Chairman’s Award at BAE for their work with us and we are so proud of what they did for us.
Visit the BAE Systems website.
Carte Blanche Greetings Ltd
This highly successful company, creator of the Tatty Teddy and Me to You ranges, has been a wonderful supporter of charities and we are delighted that they have chosen us as one of them. They have helped us with donations of both money and their wonderful Tatty Teddies to use in fundraising and we are extremely grateful to all who work there.
Visit the Carte Blanche Greetings website.
Dan Snow is a historian, broadcaster and television presenter. He was born and raised in London, and remembers spending every weekend of his childhood being taken to castles, battlefields, country houses and churches. He developed a great love of history which he went on to pursue at Oxford University. While there he also rowed in the Boat Race three times. He left with a double first in history and started presenting military history programmes with his father, Peter Snow. Their series, Battlefield Britain, won a BAFTA award. dan_snow It told the story of 8 of the decisive clashes in British history from Boudicca to the Battle of Britain. The follow up series was transmitted in the summer of 2007. It featured 8 of the key military encounters of the 20th century including battles such as Stalingrad and the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.
He has worked on numerous public occasions for BBC Events such as the 200th Anniversary of Battle of Trafalgar, the 90th anniversary of the RAF and the commemorations to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of World War One. Dan has a regular slot on the One Show on BBC1 where he explores great stories from British history. He made a documentary on China’s First Emperor and his Terracotta Army for BBC2 in 2007 and the follow up on the Emperor Hadrian was on BBC2 the following year. In June 2008 Dan also explored the islands of St Kilda for “Britain’s Lost World” on BBC1. His series ‘Empire of the Seas: How the Royal Navy Made the Modern World’ was broadcast in early 2010. During the course of his work he has flown World War Two aircraft, been gassed, shovelled muck in a sewer under London for a day, contracted hypothermia and been trained as a sniper. Dan’s first solo book ‘Death or Victory’ was published in September 2009. It is an account of the fall of Quebec in 1759. An accompanying television programme was broadcast by BBC2 in March 2010, produced by Dan’s production company, Ballista.
As part of their support for the local community through the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) Hildon Water have provided us with water for our fundraising activities for the last couple of years which has helped us enormously in our work with the families we support. We are very grateful to them.
Visit the Hildon Water website.
Major Phil Packer MBE
The British Inspiration Trust – “EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE”
BRIT 2012 CHALLENGE
Over the course of 2012 Phil is making his way through locations chosen by young people in every county of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, including Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. On the way, he is meeting Britain’s youth who are facing physical and mental adversity.
“I’m asking communities across the country to come together and join me in our mission to help young people believe in themselves again. As part of this journey I am appealing for people across the country to show that they care about the youth of their community and their country by backing what I’m doing so Britain sits up and takes notice,” said Mr Packer.
Phil sustained a spinal cord Injury in February 2008 and since then, continues to inspire millions. His focus is supporting Young People who face Adversity. He has made this his business.
Phil Packer MBE As he began to cope with the situation he found himself in, to regain self-confidence, self-esteem, self-belief and feel empowered to make choices in life, Phil decided to embark upon numerous physical challenges to raise funds for charity, raise positive awareness and enthuse others. His decisions pulled him through the dark times and he started to overcome the adversity faced with physical limitations and this improved his mental well-being.
His three main challenges in 2009 were completed within six months. He rowed the Channel with Al Humphreys on 14th February, just after a year of being injured and he walked the London Marathon over 14 days on crutches with support from his great friend, Martyn Bird. Phil captivated the nation throughout his two-week ordeal. He then flew out to the USA and hauled himself up El Capitan with a support team of some of the country’s best climbers including Andy Kirkpatrick; he completed over 4,250 pull-ups and slept on the side of the Mountain for 3 days before reaching the summit. Phil raised in excess of £1.3million for charity in 2009. His efforts inspired millions and gained national recognition including the Athlete of the Year Badge from the Scout Association, Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards and the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The Armed Forces also recognised his efforts prior to his retirement in March 2010 and he was awarded the MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
In 2010, Phil stepped up to the mark again and in addition to supporting the wounded, he turned his attention and main focus to supporting Young People who face Adversity. To continue his physical challenges and to inspire Young People, he climbed the 3 Peaks in 72 hours for Sport Relief with BBC Presenter, Kate Silverton. He was joined on Mount Snowdon by Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Clive Woodward. This became the feature for the BBC Inside Sport Documentary “A Major Mountain to Climb” that followed his Journey. He then completed his biggest challenge; the opportunity to bring charities together and raise awareness of numerous disabilities, deprivation and medical conditions. On the 25th/26th April 2010, Phil smashed his 14 day London Marathon time and completed the Virgin London Marathon in 26 hours for 26 charities, walking each mile with a Young Person from each of the charities. The greater awareness of the various charities’ work and the inspiration Phil gave to the Young People and the public was immense and immeasurable.
His aspiration is to build a Centre of Inspirational Excellence for Young People facing Adversity. Through the British Inspiration Trust, Phil aims to fuse charities together by providing a hub of best practice at the BRIT Centre and to bring corporations and businesses together to provide work experience and employment support to Young People facing Adversity (who are physically or mentally disabled, deprived, have medical conditions, are injured or wounded). Phil is calling upon Inspirational Figures from every Sector of Society to become BRIT Mentors and use inspiration to enthuse and empower Young People. He is urging the country to join him on this journey, give their support and believe that Everything is Possible. He is asking for businesses to partner with him to raise the £15m to build the Centre.
Please do contact Phil at email@example.com
This company sells fabulous scooters for children and adults and we are very grateful for their support.
Visit the Micro Scooters website.
ON August 28, after 158 gruelling days at sea, 17-year-old Hertfordshire student Mike Perham sailed into the history books to become the youngest person to sail around the world single-handed.
Mike, from Potters Bar, had survived treacherous seas, 60ft waves and repeated technical and mechanical failures to claim his record. When he set off, in November 2008, he was just 16 years old _ he celebrated his 17th birthday alone in the South Indian Ocean. He completed 30,000 miles _ 6,000 longer than planned _ and had to stop for lengthy repairs in Portugal, the Canaries, Cape Town, Tasmania and New Zealand. A journey which was originally planned to last four and a half months ended up taking twice as long. When he finally sailed into Portsmouth Harbour after crossing the finishing line, he was greeted by thousands of well-wishers, and journalists from around the world. His expedition has since been featured in a 90-minute Channel 4 documentary, The Schoolboy Who Sailed The World. Circumnavigating the world solo is an impressive achievement for the most experienced sailor, but for one so young, it is truly remarkable. Yet, when you talk to Mike, who is now studying for a national sporting diploma at St Alban’s Oaklands College, he talks about his exploits with remarkable understatement. He is down-to-earth, unshakeably positive, with a maturity and self-confidence which belie his years.
Despite living in landlocked Potters Bar, Mike comes from a family of seafarers. His grandfather served in the Royal Navy, and his father Peter was a merchant seaman before becoming a quantity surveyor. Peter, who has always nursed an ambition to cross the Atlantic single-handed, taught Mike to sail when he was seven. By the time he was just 14, Mike fulfilled his father’s lifelong ambition, by becoming the youngest person to sail the Atlantic Ocean.
On that occasion, Peter shadowed him, sailing not far behind. How difficult was it to undertake a trip like that at such a young age? “I had a few problems,” concedes Mike. “I had to stop in the Canary Islands. But it wasn’t too hard.” He makes it sound about as taxing as a walk to the chip shop. “But for me, that’s what I do,” he says, matter-of-factly. “It’s my life. After crossing the Atlantic, I thought, ‘I want to go bigger, I want to go better’. I wanted a greater adventure. Circumnavigating the world was the obvious choice.”
Father and son spent a year trying to raise sponsorship money for the trip. Several companies were understandably reluctant to associate themselves with a trip which could have resulted in a teenager’s death. But the money was finally raised, and Mike’s 50ft open yacht, Totallymoney.com, was chartered and was paid for by three main financial sponsors and several large donations. Peter had planned to shadow his son, as during the Atlantic trip, but the cost was prohibitive. So Mike was literally on his own, although supported by the love and prayers of his devoutly Christian family _ his father, his mother Heather and his elder sister, Fiona.
Things went wrong right from the start of the voyage. The autopilot, which steered the yacht, began to play up accross the Bay of Biscay. Mike had to continually keep resetting it manually, which meant he could only sleep for a few minutes at a time. “I can safely say that the worst part of the trip was the first couple of weeks,” he says now. “It was very, very frustrating _ about the worst start you could get.”
There were physical problems too. “It was hard trying to fit into a sleep patterns and getting used to a diet of freeze-dried food. I was seasick a couple of times, but once I got my sea-legs, I was fine.”
Mike was forced to pull into Portugal for repairs to the autopilot, which meant he had to relinquish his original goal of achieving the non-stop record from Falmouth, instead he would now be starting in Cascaise and finishing in Cascaise. Although he was in daily contact with family and friends via satellite phone and email, Mike found the sense of isolation which comes from being hundreds of miles away from another living soul difficult to cope with. “The hardest part was being alone out there. I don’t like being alone. For five of the nine months I was away, I was totally on my own, and that’s the hardest part. But you just have to get on with it. Before you set off on a trip like this, you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for, so I prepared myself. I knew it wasn’t going to be fun being alone, but I wanted that challenge and adventure. But it did get me down at times.”
Before setting out, Mike trained with a sports psychologist to help him overcome the mental pressures of loneliness. He also built up his physical fitness in the gym, and learnt how to carry out repairs on the engine, generator and most other equipment. “When you’re alone at sea, you have to be your own sailmaker, boatbuilder, mechanic, electrician and navigator.”
Conditions on board were cramped and damp, there was no fresh food, and Mike suffered repeatedly from sleep deprivation. “My sleep patterns were constantly changing. Some nights I’d get five or six hours, but other nights I’d get no sleep at all. At one point, I managed only three hours’ sleep in three days. That was incredibly draining.”
Lack of space on board meant he lost stamina in his legs. “But I built up my upper body strength because the sails are very, very heavy. They weigh 100kg, and then there’s friction on top of that.”
After prolonged repair stops in Portugal, the Canaries, where he celebrated Christmas, and Cape Town, Mike headed into the notorious Southern Ocean, feared for its treacherous currents, towering seas and raging storms. Once, his yacht was knocked flat, battered by giant waves. “The boat was picked up by a freak 60ft wave, and we were chucked in the air and thrown 90 degrees on to our side,” Mike remembers. “I was flung across the cabin, and ended up in total darkness, with my head trapped under the table and my feet on the ceiling. I was genuinely scared for those few seconds, but luckily the boat righted itself.” Soon afterwards, and still in surging seas, Mike had to climb the 70ft mast to make repairs, wearing body armour and a helmet to protect him from being smashed into the mast as the boat moved in the rolling seas.
At the mercy of the elements, there were times he felt immensely vulnerable. But he says he never feared for his life. “I always felt in control.”
The Southern Ocean brought both the lowest lows and the most exhilarating highs of the trip. “It was cold, wet and there was storm after storm. But there were times when we were just flying along at incredibly high speeds. Dolphins would suddenly appear from nowhere and sometimes hang around for an hour. I saw albatrosses, sea turtles – incredible wildlife. And there were some amazing sunsets.”
Despite the wild weather, it was his favourite stretch of the entire journey. The lengthy time spent ashore repairing the yacht meant Mike missed his window of opportunity to round Cape Horn. Winter was well underway by the time he approached it, and the weather just too treacherous to contemplate. He sailed north through the Panama Canal instead.
Even in the final stretch of his return journey across the Atlantic, his progress was impeded by Hurricane Bill. He finally crossed the invisible finishing line on August 27, arriving two days later at Portsmouth to be reunited with his family and cheered by thousands.
What was the best thing about coming home? “Good food!” he replies unhesitatingly. His first meal was his favourite – steak and chips.
He’s now catching up on his academic work at Oaklands College. “I’m not really sure what career I want yet,” he says, “but if I can continue having adventures, that would be just perfect. Once you do one, you just want to do another.” Just a few days after arriving home, Mike announced his next adventure. He is to join Australian adventurer Don McIntyre on a re-enactment of the 4,000 mile trip endured by Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame, after he was set adrift by his crew in the Pacific in 1789. Mike can’t wait.
“We’re taking a 25ft wooden boat, and we’ll have exactly the same rations that Bligh and his men had _ ships’ biscuits and any fresh fruit we can gather and fish we can catch,” he says. “We’ll have no drinking water on board, so we’ll have to hope it rains. And we’ll use the stars to navigate by.”
The trip will raise money for the Sheffield Institute Foundation, which raises funds and awareness of motor neurone disease. Mike is also hoping his solo trip round the world will raise £24,000 for Save the Children and the Tall Ships Youth Trust, which gives deprived youngsters the chance to experience sailing. He’s also proud to have become an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust.
Mike describes himself as “fun-loving and positive”. I wondered if his remarkable feat of circumnavigation had taught him anything about himself. “I always knew I was determined,” he replies. “I have learnt some stuff about myself, but really it just proves you’ve got to go out there and enjoy these things. You can’t go out there and not enjoy it.”
You can find out more about Mike’s round-the-world trip, his next adventure, and the charities he supports by visiting his website, www.challengemike.com.
With thanks to Ross Morrell at Nauticalia for all their support. Pieces from the 1805 collection made from oak and copper from HMS Victory have enabled us to raise significant funds.
Visit the Nauticalia website.
Portsmouth Football Club
Supporters of the Children’s Fund for many years Portsmouth FC continue to be great friends of our work. Recently launching their partnership with Genting Alderney Casinos we are delighted to be one of the first beneficiaries of the funds generated to charity.
Visit the Portsmouth FC website.
The Ogden Armed Forces Educational Bursary Fund
The Ogden Armed Forces Educational Bursary Fund – supporting children of Armed Forces personnel killed or seriously injured in action.