“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello” – Paulo Coelho

Supporting the William Wates Memorial trust

As our chosen charity for 2016 and 2017, we were privileged to work with and support the William Wates Memorial Trust. As we say ‘so long’, they have kindly shared a few words with us, about how our (and your) support has helped…

The Marmot Tours Charity of the Year 2016 & 2017

We were absolutely delighted when, 2 years ago, Cathy and James told us that they’d like to support the William Wates Memorial Trust as their charity of the year. We were even more thrilled when they decided to continue their support for a second year. ‘Margot Marmot’ set a fundraising target of £5,000 but in fact managed, with the support of Marmot Tours riders, to raise a fantastic £6,389 for WWMT and the projects they support.

“Supporting projects that encourage disadvantaged and vulnerable young people to keep away from anti-social behaviour and criminal activity, enabling them to fulfil their potential”.
– WWMT’s mission

Thank you to all those who embraced the challenge.

How will the funds be spent?

The William Wates Memorial Trust (WWMT) is a small, family-run Trust. The trustees are Will’s family – his parents (Andrew and Sarah) and 4 brothers (Tim, Jonny, Rick and Monty). Will died during his gap year in Central America in 1996, as a result of street crime. The family set up WWMT because they wanted to do something in his name to make a difference – to stop similar tragedies happening on the streets of the UK.

WWMT works with targeted projects at grass roots – charities such as youth clubs, sports and arts clubs and mentoring charities. You can find out about each of the projects here.

Each trustee establishes a close working friendship with their share of the charities receiving WWMT grants. They ensure that they really understand the way the funds are spent and ensure that the charities are transparent and accountable.

A personal message from WWMT trustee Rick Wates

“My family and I are passionate about the work of the charities we support. They are vital to the communities in which they work – helping to break patterns of destructive behaviour and to help young people to negotiate the considerable challenges they face.

By supporting WWMT, Marmot Tours have enabled us to support even more critical projects that are genuinely changing young lives for the better – enabling children to realise their real potential.

Cycling challenges offer a real opportunity for fundraisers and that’s why we created Le Loop and why Marmot Tours saw that they could help us to make a difference. A cycling challenge provides highs and lows, pain and discomfort as well as the incredible rewards of a huge sense of achievement, friendship and adventure. There are times when it takes everything you’ve got to get out there and train, and other days when you are flying on the bike. When it’s tough, know that others are suffering much more and when it’s wonderful, remember how fortunate you are.

We hope that supporting WWMT while riding with Marmot Tours has given you a level of satisfaction that other bike rides cannot achieve. By doing something you love (even when it hurts) you have helped give others opportunities in life that most of us take for granted. On behalf of the trustees, thank you for supporting our work” – Rick Wates, WWMT trustee

Ride Le Loop

We know that going on a visit to meet one of the charities supported by WWMT makes a huge difference to our supporters. Seeing their work first hand is interesting, humbling, inspiring. We warmly invite you to join the Le Loop charity visits – so come along (note: Le Loop (previously known as ‘Tour de Force’) is the WWMT’s own fundraising event – many of our own Marmot riders have taken part in it). The next one is Wednesday 7th Feb Regenerate at 5.30pm. If you can’t make it to this one, we can organise a visit specially for you. Just get in touch with [email protected] to organise.

“Actually meeting some of the people involved in, and helped by, the charities really helped me realise what the work put in was for and put into context the triviality of the challenge of just cycling” – John, rider

Case Study: Ride High

One of WWMT’s newest projects is based in Milton Keynes: Ride High.

The charity supports 80-90 extremely challenged children each year through 2 hour weekly sessions that begin with riding horses, and move on to group or one-to-one activities to help them work through their problems. In 2017, supported by a significant grant from WWMT, they have purchased their own stables and horses at a fantastic site in the heart of Milton Keynes. The yard immediately began to operate in September as a commercial stable and will self-fund the charity’s work with these young people.

The children now have a warm building with plenty of space to meet in, as well as wonderful stables that facilitate more work with the horses themselves, which plays a key role in their therapy:

“When a child first comes here, they often hardly speak, sometimes not at all. But then they start to whisper to the horses, and once they’ve started whispering, we can join in … from there, we can start to help them”

Watch their video here: