SAM Thomas, co-founder of County Business Clubs and managing director of Sussex Business Times and FirmBalls, completed a 24hr live podcast as part of a £10,000 challenge in support of Rockinghorse.
Sam joined the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity board as their first Parent Trustee in February 2021 following his family’s experience at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital where their twins were born in 2015.
While Sienna was born without any complications, Sam’s son Luca struggled to survive due to a prolapsed cord. Immediately the medical staff rushed to help him, giving him oxygen and ‘cooling mat’ treatment that stopped his brain from swelling.
Despite these interventions, they were given the devastating news that Luca may not survive, and if he did, he would likely face severe brain damage. But thanks to the dedication and care shown by the incredible staff at the unit, Luca slowly built up his strength and the family started to get more positive feedback from the doctors.
Eventually, after four weeks they were finally able to take Luca home to meet Sienna and after two years of monitoring and testing, he reached every milestone along with his sister.
It was at this point that Sam decided to do as much as he could to support Rockinghorse Children’s Charity so that other families who find themselves in the same difficult situation can get all the support they need.
Since 2015 Sam has raised the equivalent of £20,000 for the charity through a range of challenges, events and sponsorships. And during this, the charity’s 55th Anniversary year, Sam decided to set himself the challenge of raising £10,000 through a range of events and challenges, including completing a 24hr podcast.
Sam already hosts the weekly County Business Clubs TALKS podcast, where he speaks to local businesspeople to share their stories and inspire listeners, so Sam decided to use these skills to organise the charity version of the podcast where he would speak to 24 different guests.
“My love for podcasts and having these conversations is what led me to take on one of my biggest challenges of the year.
“On 13 October at 12pm in the Plus X Studio in Brighton, I began my challenge, on the hour every hour I interviewed another guest from entrepreneurs and business leaders to professional athletes, Master Chef winners, radio and tv presenters and many more.
“Throughout the 24 hours, we also hosted over 60 people to watch two of the episodes live on stage with Dragons Den winner and founder of the Tiny Box Company Rachel Watkyn and Giles Palmer founder of Brandwatch.
“I had 24 amazing conversations that were streamed live and have so far raised £2500 which takes my total this year to over £7500!”
Amanda Heatherington, Corporate Engagement Manager at Rockinghorse, went along to support Sam during the first few hours of the podcast and said:
“It was such a great idea of Sam’s to use his podcast platform as a fundraiser for Rockinghorse. It was fascinating listening to all the different guests he interviewed, despite him losing his voice towards the end!
“Having Sam as such a passionate supporter of Rockinghorse really makes a difference to us. As a small local charity, people like Sam enable us to support thousands of babies, children and their families every year. So, a massive thanks to him for his continued support.”
You can donate to Sam’s £10,000 challenge on his JustGiving page.
To find out more about Rockinghorse, please visit: www.rockinghorse.org.uk.