Can you tell us about your background, especially with regard to sport
I started my professional career (after aborting a physio career) in a Barristers Chambers and the shady world of the Barristers clerk. Essentially a powerful role in the legal world orchestrated from the pub.
I was lucky enough to be in some of the major sets in London and also the clerk to the Attorney General. In tandem with that I became medically trained in osteopathy, so fulfilled the medical side to some degree.
I then was asked to run the litigation arm of a multi-national new law firm in London which involved some high profile matters and companies.
From there, I span out and started my own company servicing professional service providers and businesses with discreet legal advice, legally related products, and ongoing legal support for businesses.
All through this period, though I have continued my passion for rugby and motorbike racing.
I was privileged enough to play with some names that went on to represent England. However, I topped out the National League level (I always say the talent was there but in reality, I found the ‘social’ side of rugby….code word for ‘beer and good times….)
In terms of motorbikes, I have been lucky enough to have ridden some of the best circuits in the UK and a particular highlight being the Isle of Man TT.
How did you first become aware of The Change Foundation?
I met the enigma that is Alex Bassan at an event and he said he worked at a charity that has a global reach but based from a place I would not have heard of…. Wallington, Surrey.
This is where he slipped up, because I lived there. We hit it off and I met the team and was impressed to such an extent that I introduced my sister and her business to them, and also my niece does work for them. It is inspiring and so touching to see and hear the difference they make at the charity.
What do you hope to bring to the role of Chair of Ambassadors?
I am so honoured to have been asked to step into this role and my thanks to Andy and Alex for the opportunity; I hope I do it justice.
The first thing is the All Blacks mentality…I am looking after it for the next person. So I want to make sure I leave the ‘shirt’ in a better place.
Secondly, I want to make sure TCF’s profile is increased amongst the business and wider social community.
Thirdly, I hope to support TCF in whatever goals they have set themselves and the great people they work with and for.
Have you any particular ideas of where the charity should focus its attention over the coming months?
The war in Ukraine is an obvious one and particularly for me as I have a friend fighting out there for his country – a Ukrainian national who owns his own law firm and swapped a pen for a gun.
Now we have opened up again (I’ll avoid the C or P words) helping to secure funding for the VI Rugby World Cup
Finally, dealing with and enhancing opportunities for young people. I think there is quite possibly an effect from recent events that may not manifest itself yet (eg mental health) so identifying those and finding a route to prevent /minimise effects (preventions is better than cure).
Have you any personal goals you would like to achieve through the role?
As I said before I want to leave it in a better place and, to use a well worn phrase, feel that I have “given something back”.
In addition I would like to explore in more granularity of what the charity wants to achieve in the next year – and five years so that a plan can be put in place in order for a transition to be achieved.
It’s an exciting role and a large part of this is me learning about them, as much as what I can give in terms of expertise and connections.