Issue NC06 Summer 2019 Why your support is so important: see our 4-page special ...
CLIPPER RACE AHOY! Our very own Callum Leach heads for South America
A tenner a day
CLLD a big success
The best of me
The Chick family begin the quest for funds with big Mo
Next stop Scunthorpe as top programmes help the long-term unemployed
A massive 111 new certificates are gained by talented members
Our news issues are kindly funded entirely by a private donation from the Hawerby Trust
DEAR FRIENDS ...
Asking WHY! WOW, what a couple of months for CatZero. More programmes underway and completed, our first veterans’ programme south of the river, planning for a special event for our tenth anniversary year (that will hopefully include a visit from our patron himself Sir Robin Knox-Johnston), the great news about Callum and the Clipper, and a barrage of press and publicity opportunities – even a starring role on HullLive for Louie, our very own therapy dog (if you haven’t seen it yet then here’s the link https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/ news/meet-dog-who-become-social-2738154 ). Then of course there is the wonderful Chick family! The publicity they are generating as they continue their UK coastal adventures, along with the money they are raising, cannot be measured and we will, no doubt, reap the benefits in the months and years ahead. Before they set off, and you can read about their journey on pages four and five, they were guests at one of our celebration events in Hull, giving them a unique opportunity to gain a real insight into the work we do and the true change we deliver to our participants.
As we saw the family speak with some of those successful participants, we were reminded of the importance of taking people on this transformational journey. Indeed, as we hit the mid-point of our tenth anniversary year, it is perhaps time to reflect on our work. You will see, in this newsletter, a four-page special in the centre that demonstrates our WHY! WHY it is so vital that CatZero continues to grow and expand as the Humber’s leading charity in delivering lasting personal change. WHY it is important that we receive support for the work we do on both sides of the Estuary. WHY our focus on supporting Full Families is needed now, more than ever before. WHY the continued support we receive from individuals and organisations is so appreciated. The methods we use deliver results in some of our hardest-to-reach communities – among those people who need long-lasting support to navigate different paths. We have helped thousands of such people over the last decade, and as we move into the next decade, our determined aim is to help many thousands more. Thank you to all of you for being a part of our journey… now let’s carry on
LATEST NEWS ... The news that our chair of trustees Jim Dick OBE is to be the new Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire has been met with delight by Dave and all the team here at CatZero. Jim, Dave and our Director of Sailing Danny Watson launched the charity a decade ago, after taking young people on a leg of the round-the-world Clipper race. They witnessed the transformational change that the sailing experience gave those on board and set out to make sailing an integral part of our programmes.
Dave praised his colleague and long-term friend, saying how Jim’s unstinting dedication to CatZero was a reflection of his determination to help instigate positive change within the East Riding and wider Humber region. “Everything that Jim does is a reflection of the man he is, giving time to drive hope, change and promise to an area that offers so much. He recognises the challenges faced and acts to help make change,” said Dave.
Dreams are coming true for young trainee sailor TRANSFORMED: Callum, right, with Skipper Danny Watson.
founder, said: “The Clipper Race is the sort of challenge Archie would have loved - requiring determination, stamina, teamwork and the ability to keep smiling and working as a team even when everything’s against you. “For this award, we were looking for someone for whom the race would be a stepping-stone towards a career. And we wanted an individual who was willing to take what they learnt and support teamArchie through mentoring other bursary recipients in the future.
OUR talented sailor Callum Leach is living proof that dreams really can come true. At 16 years old he left school early with no qualifications and spiralled into a young life of drug taking and drinking. Homeless, he found himself in a hostel in his home city of Hull - reaching rock bottom when an overdose saw him end up in hospital. Five years later, this now 21-year-old is transformed. Proud and confident he is a trainee sailor working towards his full skipper qualifications with us and, on September 1, he will set sail from the UK on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Sailing from London’s St Katharine Docks to Punta del Este, Uruguay over 35-days, Callum will be living his dream as a crew member on board Zhuhai, one of the eleven matched racing yachts making up the race – undertaken around the world in eight-legs for non-professional crew. This opportunity is being funded through a bursary awarded to Callum by teamArchie, a charitable foundation set up in memory of Archie Lloyd, a young man who died in 2015, aged 18, whilst travelling with friends. Working with partners and other charities, teamArchie offers programmes and bursaries for young people to make the most of their lives and themselves – aiming to swing the pendulum of opportunity in favour of those who really want to be the best they can be and prove they have the desire to make it happen, but need support. James Lloyd, Archie’s father and teamArchie co-
“Callum was the stand-out candidate. Through his involvement with CatZero’s sailing-based programmes, he has shown a real determination to turn his life around – going from participating reluctantly to keep his support workers happy, to becoming a regular volunteer, and now a key team member.” “We know that Callum’s attitude and personality will add a lot to his crew Zhuhai,” added James. A delighted Callum said: “I actually feel lost for words when I think about what has happened to me. I owe my life to CatZero, and I can’t thank teamArchie enough for choosing me for this incredible bursary. I’m determined to do both charities proud, to repay their amazing support for me.” This year, following his Clipper Race adventure, Callum aims to take the Yacht Master qualifications that will enable him to be a permanent first mate on our yacht – working alongside his mentor Skipper Danny Watson. For Callum, the extended support that all of us at CatZero have provided has led to his success and is a far cry from his early teenage years. “In my lowest times I was just trying to get through the day, I really didn’t have any hope and as the drug use increased, then so did that feeling,” he added. “In fact, my intro into CatZero was the day I came out of hospital. It was that point in my life which frightened me actually, I knew there was something more and I had to find it. CatZero has given me that,. For more information on teamArchie please see www.teamarchie.org
And they’re off! The Chick family is travelling ‘Round the UK on a Tenner a Day’, not only for the great experience, but to raise thousands of pounds for CatZero. And they are doing it all in their 1968 Morris Traveller ... YES, Britain’s real life Wild Thornberrys, departed from Hull Marina in May, to travel around the coast of the country in ‘Mo’ their campervan, living every day on only £10. And, in doing so, they aim to raise thousands of pounds for CatZero on this, our tenth anniversary year. Mum is Jem, dad is Dave and then there’s 15-year-old Gracie, Evan, 13, and Irys,11.
The kids added: “We’ve got loads of crazy ideas and tricks up our sleeve that will make this challenge so exciting. We want people to follow our journey, witness the ups and downs of life on the road, laugh at the antics we get up to and gasp at the scrapes we narrowly miss.” On their journey, they hope to be able to meet and connect with as many people as possible every day, trade skills, enthusiasm and their
They have travelled north and enjoyed a trip around Scotland – and in doing so got lots of media attention with reports in local papers and on regional radio. They have also had interest from BBC’s The One Show – our website blogs will keep you posted on that! “This adventure has certainly been a challenge already,” says mum Jem Chick. “Being squashed into a tiny space, wearing the same clothes, eating a lot less than we’re used to and never quite knowing what’s round the next bend. But we’re up for it.” They all agree. Celebrations as the Chicks arrive at John O’ Groats.
The Chicks’ big adventure began in Hull, above, and has already seen them take on Scotland, albeit with a poorly Mo.
where they can make a difference in their own communities,” explained Gracie. She added: “CatZero transforms young lives. The programmes they run take young people and turn their lives around, creating a brighter, more positive future for a generation growing up in a society fraught with challenges and obstacles to overcome. The CatZero team believes that these kids should have a chance in life and that’s what they give them.” trademark willingness to get stuck in for food, water and a place to park Mo for the night. They’re also keen to meet up with people making a difference in their local communities and to help those people to share their positive stories with others. And, as they continue on their journey the Chick family will be saving six-months’ worth of their usual daily living costs and donating to help with our programme delivery. “We have set ourselves the target of raising £49,000 which will put fourteen young people through one of CatZero’s 12-week programmes,” said Jem. It was Gracie’s concern for her generation and love of sailing that led to both the adventure and the fundraising for us. “I am taking on this challenge, as a young person, on behalf of my generation. “To let them know that I care, my family cares and to encourage others to look around them and see
Last year the Chick kids discovered the world of sail training and fell in love with boats and the ocean. They say that the skills and confidence that it’s given them to take back into everyday life is invaluable – and they believe it is the same for participants on CatZero programmes. At the time of going to press, the Chicks were busy having fun with the washing up in Oban! You can check out where they are now at: Round The UK On A Tenner A Day Challenge channel:https://m.youtube.com/channel/ UChoC7IT9Tc33XYZJNrx04Xw To follow them and donate yourself go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ roundtheukonatenneraday FaceBook - https://m.facebook.com/ roundtheukonatenneraday/ Twitter - https://mobile.twitter.com/TennerADay Instagram - https://www.instagram. comheukonatenneraday/
GREENPORT HULL 6
A long and determined walk sees young Ben rewarded WITH his eyes on a university course in computer science and then bio-engineering, Benjamin Thomas has come a long way since undertaking the Greenport Hull 6 programme more than a year ago. And, while his CatZero experience was in the early spring of 2018, there is one thing that will stick in his mind forever. “It was the long sail, we caught the tail-end of the Beast from the East – it was freezing and you would be hard-pushed to find anyone as sick as I was. Strangely, however, it was one of the best experiences I have had,” he remembers. Before joining CatZero Benjamin had taken a few retail jobs but admits lacking direction. A meeting with our very own Sean Bobczuk at Hull’s JobCentre started the journey which has seen him change his life – with opportunity now knocking. Following the programme, with the help of our progressions team, Benjamin enrolled onto the Princes Trust ‘Get into the NHS’ six-week work experience, within the NHS. So dedicated was Benjamin that, when the position switched to Beverley and he did not get a bus ticket – he decided to walk. “It did take me such a long time, from the Hull University area to Beverley is a good way,” he said. The work experience has now been followed by
Ben has tried extremely hard to sieze every opportunity.
casual portering work – which he hopes he will be able to carry on with if his university application is successful. But would the future have looked as bright for Benjamin had it not been for CatZero? “It may have done, but very unlikely. I would have most likely fallen into a shop job somewhere or other,” he added.
SUMMER 2019 Centre Pull-Out
Why should CatZero be your charity of choice?
Delivering lasting personal change for over a decade ... Our work is more important now than ever before. Ten years has witnessed our evolution, from working with young people to engaging some of those most hard-to-reach people of all ages across both sides of the Humber – providing the tools with which they can navigate a new path in life.
Let’s look at what we do in the area of EMPLOYMENT Of those who come on a CatZero programme, more than 65 per cent will progress onto training, further education and/or employment. Such work is going to be vital for the prosperity of the nation as we face a skills and employment shortage: • Britain’s economy is the closest it has been to full employment since the early 1970s, with the jobless rate now at 4 per cent and companies are finding it harder to hire the right workers • Some companies are expecting it will become even more difficult to recruit once the UK leaves the EU because the government is proposing a new immigration regime that lets some high skilled workers into the UK but places curbs on untrained labour • According to a recent Employers Skills Survey compiled by the Government, sectors facing the biggest labour shortages include catering and hospitality, construction, transport and storage, health and social work, and wholesale and retail. Our programmes are designed to fill these gaps – to prepare people to enter those jobs and their domestic situations will mean that once working in the
local area, they are more likely to remain here. • The Humber region has 132,600 people who are economically inactive and more than 48,000 workless households. This must change if we are to fill the employment gaps of the future. Our participants take qualifications in Food Safety in Catering, Fire Safety Awareness, Emergency First Aid at Work, Health and Safety at Work, Safe Moving and Handling, Principles of COSHH and Competent Crew. They also undertake work training and business days, prepare their CVs and take part in mock interviews. Following programme completion, participants receive intensive support from our progression officers matching their skills to the relevant vacancies in the area. Tommy Pritchett is now a trained chef. He said: “If it wasn’t for the team at CatZero I would not be in the position I am today. The whole experience opened my eyes to the possibilities I had.”
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WHY CATZERO? In the last financial year, the UK government spent £264 billion on welfare, which made up 34 per cent of all government spending. CatZero programmes offer long-term solutions to getting people off benefits and into work or training with well over 1,000 people helped since 2009.
Let’s look at what we do for FAMILIES Generations of worklessness exist within pockets of our communities where people have been ‘left behind’ in both their desire and ability to find training or employment. We change that by working with parents, children and grandchildren – treating the cause of the barriers faced, not the symptoms. Our work doesn’t paper over the cracks – it heals the wounds. This puts people back into work, plugging the employment gaps faced by scores of companies and saving the country millions of pounds.
Did you know? Around £10 billion is spent on children’s social care in the UK annually. The country is also spending record levels on the NHS - £149 billion a year, with a Government pledge to increase that in England by £20.5 billion by 2023/24. A further £22 billion is pumped into social care every year. Across the Humber, 153,400 children live in workless households. In addition, 738 children are in Hull’s care system and 350 children are in the care system within North East Lincolnshire. Great Grimsby MP Melanie Onn has been an
on-going supporter of our innovative Full Families programme: “This is not about statistics and numbers where people are easily lost, it is about the individuals and working with the people. Their lives are being improved, which in turn will provide the children within those families a better set of chances. This makes the individuals feel empowered that they have a part in something, that they are a valuable part of the community.”
Our support for LONE PARENTS Lone parents face specific challenges and our programmes reflect the barriers that they must overcome in order to stay in, or enter, the working environment. Our one-to-one action plans are used to identify the issues and support the mum or dad to look at what help exists on a long-term basis.
Did you know? • Single parent families raise one quarter of the nation's children.
• There are around 1.7 million single parent families in the UK. Nine in 10 single parent families are headed by a woman. • A study by the charity Gingerbread found that a third of children with a working single parent live in poverty with some parents struggling to put food on the table. • The report found jobs with decent pay and flexibility were ‘few and far between’ for single parents, who were trapped in low-paid and insecure jobs..
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The impact of long-term unemployment is one of the biggest causes of poverty in the UK. Prolonged periods of unemployment have a significant impact on the children and young people within families as they are pushed into debt and face increased rates of relative poverty. Evidence shows this can be generational, as referenced within the DWP’s Workless Families’ Document. 2009 to 2019: We have run 100 dedicated youth programmes with ongoing support to more than 1,000 young people and a further 30 programmes (12/14 participants on each one) for young children, full families, the longterm adult unemployed, single parents and veterans.
vocational coaching with long-term mentoring and support. The success is due to our ‘restorative practice’ approach, our work with the Humber’s business community and our on-going post-programme support including CV writing, interview techniques and mentoring.
Our unique work (there is nothing like it anywhere else), combines educational and
‘Once CatZero, Always CatZero’ is what we stand by.
Our work with VETERANS
Support for our Veterans programme is growing as there is a recognised need to support former military personnel who struggle to re-engage when they leave the Services. ABF The Soldiers’ Charity (with match funding gained locally) has supported programmes in East Yorkshire and in Northern Lincolnshire – recognition of the work we are doing.
Did you know? • The British Legion has estimated that there are currently about 6,000 homeless veterans in the UK. • A survey, carried out by SSAFA (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association), questioned 1,000 veterans and 70 per cent said
employers did not properly value their skills or abilities with some choosing to leave their military careers off their CVs. • It also revealed how nearly six in ten felt they were not treated fairly when it came to seeking state support. • Meanwhile, 87 per cent said they had experienced financial problems since leaving the Armed Forces. The average net household income of the veterans surveyed was less than £17,000 a year, with one in five surviving on less than £7,500. • According to the Ministry of Justice, veterans represent between 4 per cent and 5 per cent of the UK prison population, raising concerns about the impact of the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns on mental health issues in the armed forces. Tony Duroe, 57, left the regular army in 2002 after 25 years of service – a career that had been his life since leaving school. “To a great extent, you are on your own (when leaving the services), facing situations and responsibilities that you do not know how to deal with. When you experience programmes, such as the ones that CatZero run, you can see just how much help can be provided to individuals, which could certainly be extended to whole veteran families.”
Every penny raised is invested directly into local communities ... 9
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An innovative approach Deb Oxley OBE is the CEO of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) and a highly respected business leader across the Humber. She has recently joined the CatZero board as a trustee.
Local businesses support CatZero SOME of the most influential and respected business leaders across the Humber are longterm supporters of CatZero, recognising the success of the programme in delivering positive and lasting change, underpinned by good governance and strong leadership. They recognise the need for our work and offer vital ‘match funding’, enabling us to attract national grant funding. Every £1 donated is turned into £3 and we need more match funders in order to sustain and increase our vital work. We are delighted to have the support of J. Marr Seafoods again this year. They said: “J.Marr Seafoods Ltd started sponsoring CatZero in 2018 after being made aware of their work through parent company Andrew Marr International. We wanted to support a local charity where it was clear how our funding would be used. After an inspiring presentation it was agreed the charity would fit nicely into the company’s CSR programme and having a parallel with the link to the sea. We sponsored the 2018 NEET programme when staff had the opportunity to volunteer and meet participants. It was an uplifting experience and particularly attending the celebration event where participants spoke about the issues faced and how CatZero was helping shape their future. When CatZero spoke about funding for 2019 and their Full Families Programme we were impressed with the ethos. It was clear our funding would be used effectively to help those in need in locally.”
“I was drawn to CatZero because it is about the area where I have lived all my life, it’s about change, and it’s about taking an innovative approach.” Terry Moran CB rose to Second Permanent Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions. He is currently chairman of the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
“I have always been passionate that people especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, are given opportunities and the values of CatZero match those of my own.”
Why your support is vital? • Our programmes attract national grants, but these are dependent upon us receiving ‘match-funding’. Your support frees up that money, and it also means for every £1 you give, we have up to £3 to invest into our programmes and participants. • Our programmes work, because we invest in people in the long-term. Every programme we run can accommodate 14 people and costs a total of £40,000.
We offer programmes for Full Families, the long-term unemployed, veterans, young people and single parents in Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire. • All your money is invested locally and goes directly into the work we do.
CatZero: Every penny raised is invested directly into local communities.
Cooking up a real treat Our delivery teams have now successfully completed four programmes for the long-term unemployed, which have been funded by CLLD (Community Led Local Development). Monies from the European Structural and Investment Funds was secured by the city to the overarching CLLD programme in Hull. In this five-page special, we look at the café day that was run by the participants of CLLD Four and the celebration events for CLLD Three and Four. The first two programmes were run in the autumn of 2018. With this now complete, we are embarking on a similar CLLD programme over in Scunthorpe. Ella keeps herself busy in the kitchen along with David Dodd, inset.
ELLA Stimpson is a young woman with a future, thanks to the latest CatZero programme. Full of enthusiasm Ella, from Hull, has completed one of two 2019 CLLD programmes. The programmes, there have been four in all for the long-term unemployed, have been supported by CLLD (the Community Led Local Development). Monies from the European Structural and Investment Funds was secured by the city to run the over-arching CLLD programme. Ella and her fellow participants have now finished their programme, during which they have undergone weeks of confidence and team building and embarked on a whole host of accredited vocational qualifications. They also spent time sailing – with their long-sail undertaken part-way through the programme. For Ella the programme has been transformational – as it has for so many others in the past. “I have been the youngest on this particular course and have loved every single minute of it,” said Ella, as she took part in the café day during which the CLLD participants planned, prepared, cooked and served a three-course meal for guests. “I cannot tell you how much it has boosted my selfesteem and confidence, and I now know I can do
things and there is a future out there. “The sailing is incredible. It has made me see that there are more things out there in the world, it has opened my eyes to what is possible in life,” added Ella. For 23-year-old David Dodd, the course has given him new hope, after bouts of anxiety saw his selfconfidence plummet. For him, the eight-day sail to the Isle of Wight was life-changing. He said: “It transforms your way of thinking, being on the yacht and being pushed to the max. Having to keep calm and work together really puts you into a different place." David was also taking part in the café day, which was once again held at The Minerva Masonic Hall, in Princes Street, Hull.
Dad and daughter prove to be a winning team ... WHEN teenager Demi Robbins was unsure about coming on to one of our CLLD CatZero programmes the team had a good idea – your dad Scott can come too! And so, it transpired, with 19-year-old Demi a participant on CLLD Programme Three and Scott on Programme Four. “The team wanted to make sure we weren’t on the same programmes, but wanted me to be able to encourage Demi so we both ended up taking part and it has been great,” said Scott, who has been unemployed since just before Christmas and therefore eligible to take part. Demi was one of the 15-strong group who successfully completed CLLD Three, calling themselves The Humber Flyers. Between them all, an impressive 135 qualifications and certificates of achievement were gained with more than half securing training, interviews and work courses at the time of their celebration event. Held at Hull’s Minerva Masonic Hall, the event was attended by family, friends and the ‘Chicks’ – mum, dad and three children that had come up to Hull to set off on their UK coastal journey to raise CatZero funds, with just their 1960s Morris Traveller as transport and accommodation (see pages 4 & 5).
Demi Robbins with dad, Scott, above.
Delighted with the progress she has made with CatZero, Dani said: “I have realised so much about myself and what I can achieve. I had never had any real direction as to the right way forward and was also shy and very nervous.” After some shop work, Demi has been unemployed and lacked direction but she now hopes to go to college on a beautician’s course while gaining a part-time job. The highlights of her CatZero experience are many – and of course, the eight-day return to sail to Cowes, Isle of Wight, was certainly one of those. “I must admit for the first six or so hours, I just cried
and wanted to go home. But then I got used to it, gained my confidence and became stronger as a result. It is a life-changing thing to do,” said Demi. Congratulating all the group, Programme Manager Pete Tighe said: “When you all came to our intro event, you chose us and it’s that want that will make you all achieve.” CatZero delivery team member Maria Brennan added: “Every day, all of you will have gone away with a sense of achievement and that is what we are here for – to celebrate the small and large achievements equally, along with helping you all to build resilience, turning an ‘I can’t attitude into ‘I can’.” Once again, the team thanks all at the Minerva Masonic Hall for the use of the venue.
CELEBRATION CLLD NEWS EVENTS
A future to believe in “ABSOLUTELY fantastic”: the words of CatZero’s Progressions Officer Fiona Daggett when she revealed how 111 qualifications and certificates of achievement had been gained by members on our CLLD 4 programme. Fiona was speaking at the group’s celebration event, which was once again held at Hull’s Minerva Masonic Hall – with thanks again to everyone there. “As I stand here today, the majority of you are already celebrating your plans for the future and are looking forward to adult education and training courses,” said Fiona. Speaking of the way the participants had handled the course, she expressed her pride in how they were overcoming challenges. “The hardest thing to do is to sell yourself, but be positive about yourselves because you all have so many skills. This is not the end of your programme but the beginning of your journey,” she added. Thanking CLLD for the support, programme delivery officers David Andrews and Sean Bobczuck (Bob), were delighted with everything that had been achieved. “The one-to-ones is where the work is done. You are all individual and this is when we discover what is holding you back, you can then start to move forward,” said David.
Tammy found that CatZero was about much more than simply finding work; now she truly believes in herself.
Bob added: “We feel privileged that we are in a position where you can be honest with us, in fact the honesty we get from some people is mind-blowing. And that is important because if you are not open and honest then we cannot help you as much as we want to.”
And who better to tell us of the change CatZero brings, but mum of three Tammy. Here is her story, in her own words ... “CatZero for me was more than finding work, it was about my confidence and the ability to truly believe in myself.
‘yep, I’ve got this’, to finding it so hard to tell people what I am good at that I ended up in tears – but I did it, even though at one point I just could not find the ability to speak the words.
Starting the course was so scary, meeting people and speaking to them in my group has been amazing.
Bob, David and Fiona will probably never understand how much I have truly changed and what they have given me to move forward and push myself out of that comfort zone. The whole group was also amazing with members helping me on my journey.
There are many things that I wouldn’t have done without the support of Bob, David and Fiona and my group reassuring me. It would have been so easy to not show up on certain days or just say no, but no was never an option.
I hope by doing this that I have made my boys proud and that they understand now that, no matter how hard life can be or how much you get knocked down, that you should never give up. If I can do this, then they can too.
I was here to push myself to the best I could. My greatest achievement was getting through the mock interview. I have worked in a lot of places but never had an interview as people have just taken me on.
All I can say is that my feet are off the ground, I am flying and there’s no way I’m coming down. My future has changed to a future I believe in and I never thought was possible or that I could achieve.
From going to the interview, and thinking to myself
Thank you for believing in me enough that I now believe in myself xxx.”
... AND FINALLY
Danny conquers ‘The Wall’ HE has conquered ‘The Wall’ - and now our director of sailing Danny Watson has his sights set on next year and what he is going to do to end a series of annual challenges, which have raised thousands of pounds for charity. Danny finished 37th out of 830 competitors in the 2019 UK ultra-marathon. Called ‘The Wall’ because it follows Hadrian’s Wall, the event takes in 69-miles under foot between Carlisle and Newcastle. With an allowed time for competitors to complete being 26 hours, Danny did it in 13 hours, 30 minutes and four seconds. In six years of challenges this was Danny’s biggest test yet and was a build-up as he progresses to his final event next year, which is in the planning stage but promises to be huge in what will be his 50th birthday year. “Over the six years there has been a progression plan, which has tested my mental and physical ability and set me up for the future,” he says. For ‘The Wall’, Danny set himself a calculated strategy and he stuck to it, despite his competitive nature tempting him to break away. “I made a plan to run the flat and downhill sections
and walk the inclines. It was hard to see fellow competitors running past, but I stuck to it and I reached the tops of the hills, fresher and found myself cruising past the others,” he explained. With his family cheering him on, there was opportunity for refuel stops and Danny took them. Following a plant-based diet, he was armed with Trek, Huel and High 5 Energy Gels and SIS electrolytes, along with plenty of water. Hitting obvious barriers at certain stages, particularly in the second half, it was Danny’s preparation and mental strength that kept him going. All his challenges have been to raise money for CatZero and other charities close to his heart. So far completing ‘The Wall’ has seen him raise around £5,000 and he is asking for more donations for CatZero and MIND. That means the total raised over the six years has surpassed £80,000. The link to Danny’s Virgin Giving page for The Wall challenge is https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ DannyWatson
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CatZero’s O-Zone magazine is written and produced by Southbank PR, Grimsby. Copyright 2019
CatZero's summer news magazine, 2019.