‘Giving back’ has always been part of my nature, from mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs to raising large donations for charitable causes. In my 30 years in business, I’ve been privileged to have met many professionals who had the drive and commitment to succeed in the world of business; and I took each one of them under my wing and gave them invaluable advice and support that they could carry through their professional careers. I found this journey incredibly fulfilling and rewarding because I knew I was making a difference.
But in 2018, I embarked on a new journey and became a global philanthropist as I am passionate about making a difference and giving back to those in need.
At the tender age of 55, I lost my mother to breast cancer. She was my biggest inspiration and why I’ve dedicated my life to making a positive difference in the world. Since her tragic passing, I have trained and participated in the Race for Life 10K event every year, raising funds to support the vital work of Cancer Research. Each race has kept the memory of mum alive. Whether I’m running, jogging or walking them, I am reminded of her beautiful smile, the way she spoke and all the wonderful memories that we shared. And there is no better feeling than reaching the finishing line and being handed that medal, knowing that I’ve made mum proud. From these races, I have raised large funds for the charity, as well as attending fundraising dinners and silent auctions where I’ve gone on to make further donations. Here’s to hoping that someday we will beat cancer.
For me, it’s now just about making donations, it’s about being part of the process and truly understanding how my ‘giving back’ is going to support and make a difference to people’s lives.
As someone who is hugely passionate about fitness, I don’t just run one marathon a year, I run several, including the Run for Osteoporosis and the Virgin Money London Marathon. It is such an honour and privilege to use my love of fitness to be able to raise funds for causes that are close to my heart. Each donation makes a real difference and that feeling is priceless. I enjoy giving my time and energy to special causes through fundraising.
Whilst living in Essex as a single mother, I volunteered as a police constable for 14 years, as a way of giving back to the community. This journey taught me about the importance of looking after each other and keeping our streets safe.
I also attend many silent auctions to raise donations for charities such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, The CLL Foundation and more. I am regularly the highest bidder and am invited as a guest of honour to numerous charity balls. Hearing these causes talk so openly and passionately about their successes and challenges reminds me of the importance of community in making the world a better place for everyone.
In 2019, I was awarded the Freeman of the City of London by The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, where I was recognised for my contribution to the IT sector. For many years, I ran a Digital Marketing business, where I worked with businesses to utilise digital channels, including social media, SEO and email, to connect with customers as well as bolstering their online presence. Now, as a philanthropist, I share my pro-bono expertise with solopreneurs, start-up businesses and charities to support them in their ventures. Supporting charities with their digital marketing means they can spread their message online as well as informing people of fundraising events and opportunities to support their work.
In late 2019, I became Director/Trustee and Chair of the Communications and PR Committee at The WCIT Charity, which was an enormous honour and privilege. The WCIT Charity supports charities to make the most out of IT amongst other things, which you can read more about here. Since 1992 the WCIT Charity has supported hundreds of individual causes through grants of almost £4 million. Two charities, CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) and Missing People jointly won the WCIT Charity IT Award 2018.
As you can see, what I am most passionate about is ‘giving back’ and making a difference to communities and people’s lives. And this is why I chose to become a philanthropist.