Catalyst Recruitment - People + Progress

Prince's Trust John Wall Memorial C2C

John Wall, NEAA Outstanding Achiever 2009

Jun 16, 2015

MD, Paul, in team to complete C2C in one day in memory of John Wall

Now then – where to begin?!

Well, a good few years ago, in an office near, near to home, in a town in, in the North East, I met a bloke called John Wall. A bit of a maverick, a bit outspoken, a doer, an achiever, a straight talker – one of life’s good guys. How better can I put it than that it stuck in my mind?

Fast forward a few years, to 2006, and I somehow got involved in founding an event, the North East Accountancy Awards. Fast forward again to nominating John Wall as the first individual Outstanding Achiever in 2009. Winning, he went on to support the event brilliantly, Chairing Judges and the event Steering Committee as well as recommending a string of Outstanding successors, namely John Cuthbert, Paul Walker, Robert Forrester and Paul Woolston. To this day, and I don’t know if he knew it, he became a bit of a mentor – an inspiration.

On 12th June 2014 John passed away suddenly and I made a private vow at his funeral that I’d do my best to raise a bob or two for the Prince's Trust, a charity he supported passionately and a charity that played a really good part in helping start Catalyst, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary – a “connection” we realised very late in his life.

It took a bit of time to decide how I’d do this fund raising, but a friend’s suggestion prompted contact with Prince's Trust and they connected me properly with John’s sons Gareth, Damian and Jonathan who were planning a one day coast to coast, Whitehaven to Tynemouth, cycle ride. A perfect opportunity to fundraise – a huge challenge :D A few rides later, 85 and 75 miles feeling like they’d finish me off, the real deal, 140 miles, is now just a few days away – on the 20th June.

Folk who know me know that Catalyst has given me a really positive focus for the last decade, with John and PT’s part in that deserving real credit. I consider myself a very lucky person – perhaps I wasn't in the target demographic of disadvantaged young people when PT helped Catalyst – but I am huge beleiver in and advocate of supporting work, and the fantastic work PT do each year with 50,000 young people, enabling 80% to move on to Employment, Education, Training or Volunteering. I’m sure John, like all of the Trust’s supporters, felt the same way about the huge value of the Trust's activity.

As I type c.£3,000 has been raised in sponsorship for the ride and it’s high time my rallying cry is heard. Briefly, we need more, having targeted raising £5,000, so If you believe in the general idea that work is good for the mind, body and soul, please sponsor our ride, in memory of John, and in support of Princes Trust.

As you may have seen me tweet recently, it’s about 10 years since I was on the sponsorship trail in any shape or form so please give generously - click here for our fundraising page :)

We'll be doing our best to tweet/update on the day when we can too - and afterwards, of course - see @PaulAWilson.  It's going to be interesting - 85 miles is the current PB and had me really asking myself whether I had any more!!!

Wish us luck!!!


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