This month we’re delighted to introduce you to Graeme Marsh, a personal trainer, author and fan of Christopher Ward, who has just signed up to a 13-week expedition volunteering in Tanzania with Raleigh International.
Never one to shy away from a good challenger story, we’ll let Graeme fill you in on his challenge in Tanzania and how we’re getting involved…
I run my own personal training business in the heart of the Square Mile and have spent years training city professionals. I’ve even written two books but after more than a decade in the UK I decided it was time for something completely different and to follow my passion for writing and travel… and that search led me to Raleigh International.
In January, next year, I’ll be heading to Tanzania to volunteer as a Communications Officer for a 13 week expedition. Raleigh’s expeditions not only create sustainable and life-changing development in their host countries, but they also provide life-changing experiences for many young people from the UK and overseas, including those from ‘at risk’ and disadvantaged backgrounds. Raleigh’s values of courage, discovery, drive, impact, and integrity are integral to how they operate and what supporting them represents.
My motivation for Raleigh was not entirely altruistic though, it was important for me to find an opportunity that would help develop me as a person as well as the communities and volunteers I worked with. I was keen to better my skills as part of a team and to push myself back into more writing and communications work that had fallen away as my business had got busier. I was open with Raleigh about this from the start and it was reassuring to hear that many people come to Raleigh as much to find out more about themselves and change their own path as well as help others. Volunteering is a huge commitment, so I’d encourage anyone thinking about it to be sure that it’ll be something they are motivated and excited to take on before signing up.
As a Junior Soldier I had spent 7 weeks in the wilderness of British Columbia and experienced first hand how expedition life can impact positively on young people, often opening their hearts and minds to new places, new cultures, and new approaches to how we deal with adversity, poverty, climate, and challenge that is often so temperate or hidden in our own environment. It was this experience that led me to Raleigh International. The charity aims to ‘drive sustainable development through inspiring young people to be the agents of change’. Raleigh’s values resonated with me; courage, discovery, drive, impact, and integrity, and are all forefront of how the charity operates in its host countries of India, Borneo, Costa Rice, and Tanzania. But what Raleigh really offered me, was the perfect opportunity to seek out personal development in a way that would challenge me, benefit others, and help develop a better life for young people both here in the UK and in poverty hit communities abroad.
Part of the commitment to Raleigh of every volunteer is to help raise the funds needed to make these opportunities available to those from underprivileged or at-risk backgrounds here in the UK. This money also helps Raleigh continue to recruit those who join these trips, like me, as a Volunteer Manager to help run, support, and report on each expedition. Christopher Ward has kindly helped support that by donating a C7 Rapide Chronograph that I’ll be wearing on the expedition. In a bid to raise as much money as possible for the charity, I am auctioning this beautiful watch to one lucky person who’d like to get their hands on a well-travelled timepiece. If you’re interested in getting your hands on this watch email your bid to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out more about the work that Raleigh do here….www.raleighinternational.org