Three years ago, to raise funds for the century-old Save the Children charity, Paul put together a team to tackle the three highest mountain peaks in Scotland, England and Wales. The Three Peaks Challenge involved climbing nearly 9 800 feet, 26 miles of hiking and about 450 miles of non-stop driving - all in the space of 24 hours.
In 2012, he also completed the “300 Challenge”, a marathon gym workout that gets its name from the movie starring Gerard Butler about 300 Spartan warriors at the Battle of Thermopylae, and their modern-day counterparts who have to complete 300 repetitions that include pull-ups, barbell deadlifts, push-ups, box jumps, floor wipers and single-arm clean-and-press exercises, all within 15 minutes.
“I am proud to have been a part of Save the Children since I was 17 years old, and have organised countless fundraising events during that time,” says the former barrister’s clerk who chairs the charity’s Africa Advisory Board.
“What I have done is miniscule in comparison to others, but I have always been passionate about raising funds for this amazing charity. It all helps to provide children with an option to live life as they should be allowed to, without worrying about the constant conflict they experience, lack of protection, or lack of education. Put simply, every child deserves a chance.”
Paul and his wife have two children of their own, Esme, 6, and Maximus, 4.
“They keep me going, and certainly provide focus and inspiration during the challenging times. Since becoming a father, the work I do for Save the Children certainly resonates more!”
He believes the children in Africa are among the most vulnerable and need help and support on many different levels. When two tropical cyclones devastated Mozambique recently, the charity responded swiftly to raise much-needed support. In all cases, he says, the board is guided by the staff at Save the Children who are on the ground and know where help is most needed.
“Currently we are faced with a drought in Kenya and Somalia and an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. These are some of the areas that we are focusing our attention on.”
Paul sees his role as a bridge between board members and Save the Children.
“I keep them informed of what is going on and the support that they can offer; along with input into the strategy going forward and I provide guidance to the team at Save the Children working on the Africa fundraising initiative.”
Another major part of his role is to keep the board members motivated, involved and excited about the difference they are making in the lives of children across Africa.
“I enjoy this immensely and so far have managed to galvanise their support when we were needed to fundraise for the recent cyclones. Apart from attending fundraising events, making introductions to potential supporters and raising awareness via our networks and social media, we have also planned a number of fundraising events and donor meetings in London, Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town during my tenure.”
During his more than twenty-year career at the London Commercial Bar, where he was a Deputy Senior Clerk at Fountain Court Chambers from 2011, he also served as a volunteer for JUSTICE, an all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system in the United Kingdom.