January FOCUS…

Focus Newsletter
January 2024

Welcome to the January edition of FOCUS, which introduces our new Council of Reference members. This month we feature Break, a charity working across East Anglia, supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in society. This is the first year we have supported this charity.
We include more details of our fundraising events for 2024, and a reminder if you are thinking of organising a fundraising event, either on your own or with a group of friends, please let us know so we can support you. It doesn’t have to be sports-related, it could be anything of your choice! Next month we will include an interview with Bennet Carr by one of our Interns, Sarah El Tonsy.  
FOCUS on Council of Reference
Niall Day-Sawyer – Technical Advisor

My connection with the Beers goes back to my school days in London, when I became good friends with Dominic’s sons Josh and Charlie. In 2014, Josh and I created the Dominic Beer Memorial Trust’s original website and I continue to provide technical advice and support to the BHMT.

My career is in education and I teach in an international school in Madrid, Spain, where I have been Head of English and am now a member of the senior development team. I’ve also taught Computer Science and enjoy making students think about interdisciplinary links.

In my free time I often enjoy taking a walk here in the mountains with friends, enjoying local cuisine and occasionally my wife and I relish the challenge of an escape room! I also enjoy cooking and will gladly take on a new recipe or explore a new cuisine. When I have more time available, I like to explore the different cities and cultural regions of Spain and more latterly have been learning to ski.

Esther Beer – Social Media Advisor

My connection to the Trust is through my Dad, Dominic, and my cousin, Joe, both of whom the charity is named after. For me, the principles of these men have always been echoed in the Trust’s aims – to support and empower those who need it most and enable them to have hope and a future. 
I am a Doctor, based up in Newcastle, currently in my second year of practising medicine. I moved up North after medical school in Birmingham where I also completed an intercalated degree in History of Medicine – following in my father’s footsteps! At university I was the President of a Christian Social Justice charity called Just Love. For me, mental health has always been a ‘social justice’ issue – indeed, one of the projects we ran at Just Love was to support a local charity whose work addressed the mental health concerns of homeless people. 
Over the past few years – with much encouragement from Miranda and inspiration from Joe – I have become a keen triathlete! I am very much a people-person and enjoy getting out into nature with others. At the moment, I am very grateful to be living with such easy access to stunning beaches along the Northumberland coastline.
Peter Snodgrass – Legal Advisor

My connection with the Trust came through being friends with Roy and Miranda.   My wife Lucy and I had got to know them through our children going to the same school as Joseph. I have been an agricultural lawyer for the last 29 years, based in Bristol and then Stratford-upon-Avon. Before becoming a lawyer, I worked at the Church Army Hostel in Cambridge and then at The Passage Day Centre for single homeless people in Victoria, London. 
For the last seven years, I have been a Trustee and the Secretary of the Addington Fund, which provides financial help to farmers going through times of stress (e.g. animal disease, flooding), and local and sympathetic housing to farmers, most often tenants, who wish to retire from the farm, but cannot afford to buy their own home. I am a Christian and a member of St David’s church, Moreton in Marsh. I enjoy walking and trekking, reading, two-way conversations and cooking.

Bennet Carr – Fundraising Advisor

I was Joseph’s Headmaster at King Edward VI School (K.E.S), Stratford-upon-Avon between 2010 and 2014. I became the 37th Headmaster of K.E.S in September 2010. The School existed on site since 1295 and was re-founded by the Charter of King Edward VI. William Shakespeare attended the School in the 1570s, leading to it being widely known as Shakespeare’s School. An Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rated school (2022), it has an excellent reputation and was recently named The Sunday Times ‘State School of the Decade’.

I am married to Beverley and have two daughters – Josie and Ania. I am passionate about sport, in particular I have very fond memories of playing Rugby, continue to unstintingly support Gloucester Rugby Club and also referee School teams on Saturdays. I now run regularly and proudly tweet examples of my ‘Strava art’! In rare moments of spare time, I have managed to become a qualified RFU coach and referee, an open water scuba diver and, rather naively, took on the world’s highest bridge bungee jump.

I am currently Chairman of the Grammar School Heads Association and serve on a number of advisory boards and trusts, including The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Hampton Lucy Educational Trust. I am Geographer by trade and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, for which Michael Palin is now chair. In 2000 I took a year-long sabbatical with Beverley and followed Michael Palin’s lead by circumnavigating the globe. The trip also enabled me to invest in another of my great passions – that of reading and in particular biographies and travel writing.

Nigel Ford – Sales & Marketing Advisor

I grew up in and around Leicester where my family had been coal merchants for 150 years. The family moved to a smallholding when I was nine and worked with livestock on a small scale. This gave me a taste for both agriculture and business. After several years of hard work and learning whilst assisting my parents to run a dairy farm in West Wales, I went to agricultural college, gaining a distinction, one of only two students in the year to do so.
I met Roy whilst working at a national/international grass seed trading business, where he was managing director. Due to my determination, I went from office junior to a senior position in a short space of time. Over the years I have worked for many big seed companies, often turning businesses around. In 2004, I went solo, starting with a back bedroom office, a barn, £17,000 and a dented Mitsubishi. From that beginning, All Things Rural has grown to the huge and successful business it is today.
I run a number of other businesses and joint ventures including Fonmon Castle Ltd in Wales – a 350-acre estate and one of the longest continuously inhabited castles in Europe, All Things Wild wildlife park in Honeybourne, Greeneroots which sponsors start-up businesses in the green space, and I am a Director of Enable, who are blazing a trail in the field of carbon monitoring. I am chair of the EAB in Parc Prison, in Bridgend, and I sit on the Airport Advisory Board for Cardiff Airport.

University of Warwick Lacrosse Annual Charity Ball and Club Tournament, February 24th
President, Lucy Fothergill and Charity and Welfare Officer, Daisy Barrow announce their Annual Charity Ball and Lacrosse Tournament weekend, with tickets still available here or email Lucy.Fothergill@warwick.ac.uk
Ironman European Championships, Hamburg June 2nd
Nathan McAdam Freud will be competing in his first European Championships Ironman in Hamburg. The event has already sold out, but you can show your support to Nathan with a donation!
113 Events Half Ironman Cotswold Waterpark, July 14th
One of our favourite events of the year! Why not join us for the event either as part of a relay team or as an individual. The 1900m swim is in one of the beautiful Cotswold Park lakes, followed by a gently rolling 56-mile cycle and then athletes are treated to a mixture of tarmac and hard pack pathing for the 13.1-mile run that takes in lake side paths as well as local village routes before finishing back close to the lakeside transition. Entry fees will be free in exchange for fundraising. For more information click here – or contact Miranda at miranda@beerharrismemorialtrust.org or 07887897673.
North Yorkshire Long Course Weekend (LCW) September 6th – 8th
This event is NEW for 2024. Set in picturesque Pateley Bridge, which sits within Nidderdale Area of Outstanding National Beauty, the Long Course Weekend is expected to bring athletes from across the globe to compete over three incredible days of world-class sport. With the unique LCW format, you can choose your challenge by selecting your preferred distances and disciplines for the weekend. You’ll have to do the longest distance in all three to get the coveted 4th medal though. Entry fees will be free in exchange for fundraising.
Friday kicks off with the Yorkshire Dales Swim, giving you the unique opportunity to swim in the stunning (albeit cold!) Grimwith Reservoir, deep in the Yorkshire Dales. 
Saturday will see thousands of cyclists start from Pateley Bridge and take on the choice of 56 or 112 mile bike courses set in The Yorkshire Dales National Park. Incorporating some of the sections in Tour de Yorkshire, Tour De France and UCI courses into our very own sportive course.
Rounding up the weekend on Sunday, you have a range of distances from Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k to take in some of the spectacular surrounding countryside, returning to Pateley Bridge where the massive crowds await you on the red-carpet finish line. For more details please visit the website.

 More details of new, exciting events will be available in the next edition of FOCUS.


FOCUS on Charity: BREAK

“Originally founded to give holidays to families whose children have disabilities, Break has grown and evolved over the last 60 years.  Now their focus is primarily young people who have been taken into care.  Break provides safe and loving homes as well as organises activities to support their development towards a brighter future and to offer opportunities and help young people to stay on a positive life path and fulfil their potential.
A total of 66 engagements over 19 different activities were achieved by 18 young people. They engaged in activities ranging from speaking at the Christmas Carol concert to an audience of over 200; creating studio podcasts about their experiences; sitting in on recruitment processes for Break and attending the Care Leavers Summit. Break’s approach is highly effective: 83% of their young people are in education, training or employment compared to only 59% across the country.

Young person at a Care Leaver’s Summit

Participation services:
One of the young care leavers joined the Participation sessions in April.  He had formerly not engaged well with Break’s services but now expressed an interest in getting involved.  He admitted that he had made mistakes that he was not proud of, but he wanted to make better decisions.  He also wanted to represent himself well.  He has so far, attended several Participation events and activities, already demonstrating the service is having a positive impact.  He has responded to having his opinion valued and shown real commitment to feeding back in agenda discussions and helping to shape Break’s services. His social skills and networking have improved.  Although, in the past, he has had difficulties in getting on with other young people he now engages well with a new group of peers. This young man has progressed through the stages of building self-esteem and confidence, forging relational networks, engaging with the Opportunities Team and attending sessions and activities.  He is now able to look ahead and work on developing independence and considering further external opportunities beyond Break.

Young person on training at a Coffee Van

 Maryann’s progress in Participation

Stepping Forward:
Break’s “Stepping Forward” Project supports mental health of young people who have been taken into care.  Through small steps, Stepping Forward offers sessions and activities tackling isolation, increasing self-worth, building skills and improving confidence. Early experiences of neglect, abuse and trauma continue to impact them after they have been taken into care.  Most have fragile mental health, struggle to feel self-worth, or trust adults.  Lack of a supportive family and multiple placements result in isolation and feelings of loneliness, and without early intervention, their life outcomes are often poor, resulting in unemployment, homelessness, prison and even suicide. By building confidence and self-worth, “Stepping Forward” helps these young people progress towards education, training and employment.  They can form ambitions and are supported to achieve those goals, able to envisage a positive future.

For further information about Break please visit their website.
If you would like to make a donation to our charity, which enables us to help this project, please click here: 
If you are able, please consider making your donation a monthly one. Monthly support helps create long term stability for the Trust and our commitment to promote wellbeing to those who suffer from mental health illness.

Please visit our website to find out more about the organisations we support.

Once again thank you for your donations, involvement and interest in the Trust.
Best wishes
Roy Harris (Chairman)






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