James was at the side of Matt Hampson, when tragically some 10 years ago now, during an England Under-19 training session, in preparation for an upcoming match against Scotland, the practice scrum collapsed and Matt, who was a tight head prop, broke his neck with devastating circumstances.
This incident has had a significant effect on James on a number of levels. Firstly he realised just how precious life was and how in an instant everything can change forever, which can but help shape your approach to it.
Secondly he became inspired as result of Matt’s own incredible, indomitable attitude to his accident. His indefatigable motivation and drive, not to let this or indeed any other encumbrance stand in his way, as he constantly strives to help not only himself but other people in a similar circumstances.
This quite unbelievable spin on events as perpetrated by Matt has profoundly affected James thinking towards his own motivation to help others. He has seen at first-hand exactly what Charity in its purest form really means and when used correctly, the tremendous differences and benefits it can bring to disadvantaged people.
With this in mind he decided if he was going to get involved with Charities, it would only ever be with a very select few and only ever one or at most two at any one time, to ensure whatever he did, it made a difference and as a consequence, he was able to add some substantial value to what he did in the charity’s name. Therefore over the last ten years James has had the pleasure in supporting some of the following Charities.
Currently he is engaged with supporting both Movember and Decembeard, as well as continuing as always to support Matt Hampson Charity, as well as being the Patron of Sebastian’s Action Trust.
Click here to view.
The Matt Hampson Foundation
The Foundation provides help, advice and financial support for young people seriously injured through sport. James is one of the Foundation’s ambassadors as well as being an ex playing colleague and personal friend of Matt’s.
Spinal Cord Injury is devastating for the 1,200 people who are paralysed each year. Most become full time wheelchair users. Aspire’s core Services provide the practical support that can be needed by those who sustain spinal cord injuries.
Barnardos’ vision is that the lives of all children and young people should be free from poverty, abuse and discrimination. James is an active friend and supporter of Barnardos.
Help For Heroes
Set up to aid our injured servicemen and women on their return to the UK from foreign battlefields they are a non-political organisation set up and run by former service personnel.
James is an ambassador and active member of The Lord’s Taverners, a charity which aims to give young people a ‘sporting chance’
The Royal National Lifeboat institution to give the charity its full title is essentially the organisation which is committed to saving lives both at sea as well as on inland waterways and rivers.
The service provides a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, as well as a seasonal lifeguard service on many of Britain’ beaches.
James was asked to be the figure head for their national “Respect the Water” Campaign in both 2013 and 2014. The campaign won three prestigious DMA awards (Direct Marketing Association) in December, with gold for best use of experiential, two bronze for best media strategy and best use of copy, and a nomination for best creative solution
The Movember Foundation is a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising $650 million and funding over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.
Movember seeks to make a global contribution to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. This ambition underpins everything we do. It is the driving force behind our campaigns, funding strategy, and Vision for the future
Bowel Cancer UK
At Bowel Cancer UK their mission is simple. They are determined to save lives as well as to improve the quality of life for all those affected by Bowel cancer.
They do this by educating patients, the public as well as healthcare professional about the disease; enabling and supporting research and by campaigning for the best treatment and care
In the UK about 16,000 people will die from bowl cancer every year. This makes it the second biggest cancer killer it the UK, but it should not be.
Sebastian's Action Trust
James, alongside former Olympic 200m Breaststroke Champion David Willkie MBE, is the lead Patron of this Charity. The Charity offers support, meaningful assistance and respite holidays for children with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses and their families. Their purpose built facility, The Bluebells, located in the Hampshire village of North Waltham, was opened in July 2011 and is the first of its kind.
This year, enjoy a fun run around the beautiful and scenic Virginia Water Lake, where we welcome participants of all ages to dress as Santa and raise money for Sebastian's action Trust. Click here.