From hosting events to supporting fundraising appeals, celebrity ambassadors are key to driving awareness and engagement for a charity. Former BBC News Presenter Nicholas Owen has donated hours of his time supporting The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. In the last 18 months, Nicholas has taken his ambassador role even further in a bid to support the charity.
In 2019, he became a volunteer driver, driving children to and from vital hospital appointments, activity days (which are crucial to their rehabilitation) and back home again. With the pandemic hitting soon after, Nicholas was unable to continue volunteer driving for the charity, but in August 2020, when restrictions started to ease, he picked back up where he left off. In total, he has racked up a staggering 172 hours behind the wheel, with his longest trip to Evelina Hospital with a very poorly young person, taking 10 hours to complete.
Nicholas has been an ambassador for The Children’s Trust since 2012 and continues to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Nicholas said: “I chose to take up volunteer driving for the charity as I was keen to get a full picture of how everything worked – not just in the fundraising team. The best part of the role has been meeting the incredible young people and the families on-site at their headquarters in Tadworth, Surrey. It has also been a real eyeopener working closely with the staff in the clinical team and seeing how much work goes into providing such exceptional care. They work so hard and have a real passion for what they do.”
Nicholas is just one of the ambassadors The Children’s Trust has the privilege of working with; other high-profile supporters include David Walliams MBE, Elaine Paige OBE, Harry and Izzy Judd, Jenni Falconer and Adam Hills MBE.
Dalton Leong, Chief Executive of The Children’s Trust, said:
“Nicholas’s ongoing commitment to supporting children with brain injury is exemplary. He is an invaluable part of The Children’s Trust team and we’re truly grateful to have an Ambassador who is so committed to our cause.”
All volunteer drivers undergo stringent compliance checks. The process includes, conducting a driver medical, attending shadow driving shifts, completing license checks, enhanced DBS police checks and obtaining verified references. To find out about how you can support The Children’s Trust and become a volunteer, visit: https://www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/support-our-work