My name is Richard Taylor. I was born in London in the 1960s; typically Taurean. My early years were ordinary enough, although I don’t remember seeing much of my father. Then, when I was roughly 4 years old, he disappeared entirely. My mother said he was away at work. I started to save sixpences for a chocolate machine that kept appearing whenever we visited. Later, I discovered that the chocolate machine was located inside Wormwood Scrubs.
Eventually, I was told that my father had been sent to prison, but only after he was released and in a very unclear way. Around the same time, I was shunted into a boarding school without warning. That was the final straw – I never really trusted my parents again.
I found the poor communication particularly offensive. Children are very accepting until they sense that they have been lied to, and at that point they become just another victim of the original crime. Yet the solution is so simple – just be open and talk. Allow children to be forgiving by keeping them in the loop.
In my case I was lucky enough to receive support from extended family, especially an uncle. If that had not been available, I feel certain that I would have generated headline news by now, for all the wrong reasons. Since that time, I have followed a varied career and currently specialise in Disaster Management, I am told I have a talent for anticipating events in challenging environments. When I discovered that Children Heard and Seen was being set up, I immediately recognised its value and offered to help. In fact, I rather rashly agreed to complete a ‘Boiling Point’ challenge which involved completing at least two endurance events spanning 100 degrees Celcius in the shortest practical period. In practical terms, this involves participation in the following;
The 18th Off-Track Skiing World Championships, held in Finland, on the southern edge of Lapland. It takes place between 6th and 8th of February 2015. Participants must be able to orientate and ski up to 50km/10 hours per day with all the equipment necessary for sleeping in deep snow. The event is located just below the Arctic Circle – temperatures frequently go below -40C. For further details, see http://tinyurl.com/6hgnpxp.
The other event is the 30th Marathon des Sables, held in Morocco, North Africa. This event is ranked by the Discovery Channel as “the toughest footrace on earth”. It takes place between 3rd and 13th April 2015. Participants must be able to orientate and run five and a half marathons (156 miles / 251 km) within 5 or 6 days. The event is located in the Sahara Desert – temperatures frequently go above +60C. For further details, see http://www.marathondessables.com/en/#
People sometimes ask me why I am doing this. The quick answer is anyone could do it. However, I happen to have an interest in survival and self reliance. I don’t know if this reflects my experiences as a child, but I do feel that the risks posed by wilderness are nothing compared with the risks posed by childhood. Hence, my goal is to help Children Heard and Seen support children at the time when it is most required.
Children Heard and Seen would like to thank Richard for choosing Children heard and Seen as the Charity he is doing this challenge for.
All of the money that Richards raises will be going directly to the charity. Click here or on the image to sponsor him.
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