Bournemouth Marathon – October 2013  

Russell Garner, a friend of the Willson family, ran the Bournemouth Marathon on 6 October 2013 in support of the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust. Despite bruises, aches and some unexpected sunburn, he was delighted to finish in 3 hours 46 minutes on a hot and sunny day on the south coast. Russell raised a huge 1,829 from the kind support of family and friends.

Russell said on finishing “many thanks to everyone who has kindly sponsored me, it made all the effort worthwhile and really is hugely appreciated.”


Christmas carol concert – December 2012


Sutton Valence Preparatory School in Kent made a donation of 430 as part of a collection at their Christmas Carol Concert and Fair. The school kindly nominated the JWCT as one of two charities for support.


Loch Ness Marathon – October 2010


Lucy Ritchie and her husband, Kyle Mowbray, raised over 1,600 for the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust running their first ever marathon, the Loch Ness Marathon, in under four hours.

The event, held on 2 October 2010, is an annual marathon race in Scotland, held along the famous loch, Loch Ness. The marathon starts near Whitebridge, and follows the southern side of Loch Ness, passing through the villages of Foyers, Inverfarigaig and Dores. The route goes into Inverness, crossing the Ness Bridge in the city centre, then finishing at Bught Park.

 Lucy, a colleague of Jeremy’s at Shell during his years in Houston said on finishing, “an ambition accomplished, and truly an honour to run in Jeremy’s memory.” She added, “Jeremy was a treasured friend and colleague of mine [at] Shell, an extremely talented and dedicated geologist, and someone who had an amazing zest for all things challenging in life. It was in fact Jeremy that introduced me to running and I have very fond memories of him chasing me round Memorial Park in Houston, shouting tips on running style, whilst I was struggling to simply put one foot in front of the other!”.

 Lucy explained on finishing: “Jeremy was certainly with me all the way, I had his blue bracelet on my drink belt, you can see it on the photos, every time I felt tired I held on to it and said ‘help me Jeremy’ and he really did!


Cardiff Half-Marathon – October 2010

Tracy Aze


Tracy Aze, a postgraduate research student at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University, ran the Cardiff Half Marathon on 17 October 2010, raising over 300 for the JWCT.

Tracy said about her preparation and the race itself: “The weather was amazing and it was a super fun day. I had been really poorly with a chest infection . . . and had not been able to train for four weeks before the race but on the day I was feeling much better and managed to do it in 2 hours 18 minutes. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped for earlier in my training but a good result considering.”

Tracy found out about the JWCT when looking through a list of organisations on the Palaeontological Association website that provides funding for geological fieldwork. She said “although I didn't know [Jeremy], he seemed just like the lads that I hang out with who are mostly young athletic geologists and I was deeply affected and so sad when I read about him on your website. I think that the charity you have set up in his memory is a truly wonderful tribute and the people and projects you fund are very deserving. It will be a pleasure to run for the JWCT as he seemed like an awesome guy.”

  Windsor Half-Marathon – September 2010

Windsor half marathon

Jonny Allcock, with his wife Rachael, ran the Windsor Half-Marathon on 26 September 2010, raising valuable funds for the JWCT. The race was held within the grounds of Windsor Great Park, with spectacular views of Windsor Castle.

Jonny, who spent a year volunteering with Jeremy in Indonesia, said “in honour of Jez we have been training hard in the hope that we will arrive late, finish quickly with not a bead of sweat nor a blister to show for our efforts. In reality though it probably won't be such plain-sailing!”.

After the race he said “I got round in 15 minutes better than 2009 which was a relief because I sprained my knee seven days before the run and it pinged again four minutes into it, but I got round and basically all was fine, then I was made to stop at the finishing line and it seized up.”

Jonny raised an impressive 1,450 from friends and family to help the JWCT help more young people and make more great projects happen. He added “we really appreciate all the support everyone has given us . . . in these tough times. [It] will spur us on in an effort to achieve our own targets.”


Mike & Liberty’s wedding – August 2010

Mike and Liberty


Guests at Mike Webb and Liberty Kelly’s wedding on 28 August 2010 were asked to donate to the JWCT instead of doing the traditional thing and providing presents. Mike and Liberty’s kind gesture raised over 900 for the JWCT.

Mike became a friend of Jeremy’s and his twin brother Matthew as they volunteered for the same organisation – the Project Trust – during their gap years, almost 17 years ago.

Mike and Liberty said on their special day "Jeremy was an inspirational individual.”

  JWCT nominated as St Georges Day Parade – April 2010  

A Kent Scout group of which Jeremy was formerly a member nominated the JWCT as the charity to benefit from this year’s St George’s Day Parade service in Maidstone on 25 April. Richard Murton, Chairman of Maidstone East District Scouts, said “the aims of the JWCT sit well with the aims of local Scouting”.

The church collection, at Maidstone’s All Saints Church, raised a fabulous £615 for the JWCT.


Christmas donation received from electronic card proceeds – December 2009


Phil Bramall, a friend of the Willson family, kindly donated savings made from sending Christmas cards by email to his company’s clients rather than by post. Phil kindly provides pro bono accountancy services to the JWCT through his company Tenbury Ltd. This is the second year that Phil has contributed to the JWCT by this means.


Penang Bridge International Marathon, Malaysia November 2009

Amanda Ton

Penang Bridge


Jeremy’s girlfriend, Amanda Ton, raised close to 2,000 for the JWCT running a marathon in the heat and humidity of Malaysia, on 22 November. The Penang Bridge Marathon crosses the third longest bridge in the world of the same name, which connects Penang island to the Malay Peninsula.

 Amanda said prior to flying out to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city “I carry a weight of worry for this marathon as it is the longest distance I will attempt to date. Also, my training has been in cold dry winter and spring conditions whereas the actual race will be in hot and humid tropical weather. Five years ago I never thought I could do it . . . Now, I have more trust in myself then ever because Jeremy inspired me to get the most out of my days. Also, he taught me that running is about much more than just running.

Amanda, accompanied by her friend Josephine Tran, completed the mammoth 42km distance in a very respectable 4 hours, 41 minutes and 16 seconds. Amanda said on finishing the event “I do think Jeremy would be happy and we'd be celebrating over copious quantities of dumplings & cheap Asian beer”, adding “I can't explain the relief I feel from finishing the marathon successfully, but also the peace I have to know it's all come to an end.”


Two marathons on two continents in one day – October 2009


On 18 October husband-and-wife team, Tim Davies and Helen Davies-Kanakis, ran marathons on opposite sides of the globe. With Tim’s race in Amsterdam and Helen’s in San Francisco, both were looking for personal records and once again raising money for the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust. 

In the run-up to the event Tim and Helen appealed to their friends and family: “Please help us raise money for this worthy cause and in memory and honour of our great friend Jeremy Willson, who sadly died in March 2006 of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD). He inspired and encouraged many, including both of us, with his passion and belief in pushing your own limits to achieve the unachievable. We can therefore think of no better way to pay tribute to Jeremy than to support this great cause and ask you to sponsor us to run a silly distance.”

Helen said on completing both their events “I could hear [Jeremy’s] voice egging me on while I ran up the hill at mile 9 in San Francisco - I know he would have appreciated the marathon's tag line "Run Like a Girl" too! . . . I had a great run . . . with 4 hours 1 minute, up and down the hills - with fabulous weather, and really couldn't have asked for better conditions. Tim ran a race of 3 hours 42 minutes in Amsterdam.”

Tim and Helen raised 667 between them to help the JWCT continue its work


Windsor Half-Marathon – September 2009

Jonny Allcock - Windsor


Jonny Allcock, a good friend of Jeremy’s from their year out in Indonesia (see photo gallery) raised an incredible £4,150 to help Jeremy’s charity help more people get an opportunity to achieve their dreams. Jonny, accompanied by his sister Claire, raised the funds running the Windsor Half-Marathon on 27 September.

Jonny explained his preparation on race-day: “In true Jez [Jeremy] style we managed to lose all paperwork, running number and chip just 30 minutes before the start and I found myself at the back of a long queue for the admin tent panicking and sweating profusely rather than taking on water and stretching! But Rach [Jonny’s wife] barged through to the front of the queue and found that some kind angel had found my envelope on the ground and handed it in some minutes earlier . . . So all was well and in true Jez tradition I made it to the back of the starting line as the race began!” Despite the heat and the hills and describing himself as an “asthmatic Guinness-drinking man” Jonny completed the full 13.1 miles in a respectable 2 hours 29 minutes.

Jonny now has his eye on the Reading and Bath Half Marathons in March 2010, and aims to shave five minutes off every year for the next six years so he can complete a two-hour Half Marathon at the age of 40.


The Big 7 Challenge – June 2009


Simon Ferguson and Tim Grimble have completed a challenge to cycle 700 miles in 7 days, from Paris to Nice, traversing 7 of the high cols of the Alps, raising over £1,800 for the JWCT. The pair, supported by Peter and Clare Grimble (Tim’s father and sister), covered an incredible 698 miles (1,124 km) during their gruelling cycle, notching up 59 hours 50 minutes in the saddle, and consuming over 17,500 calories.

Tough climbs included the Col de Glandon, 1,472 m of vertical ascent over 21.4 km of road, an average gradient of 7%. The cols reached were Col de la Croix de Fer (2,067m) via Col de Glandon (1,924m), Col de Sarenne (1,989m) via Alpe d'Huez (1,850m), Col du Lauteret (2,058m), Col d'Izoard (2,360m), Col du Vars (2,108m), Col de Cayolle (2,326m), Col de la Couillole (1,678m) and Col St Martin (1,500m).

Simon said “we worked really hard for the first four days and this bought us enough time to pace ourselves through the rest of the Alps. We could have done more but we were lucky to have generally benevolent weather and not a single injury or health problem.” Despite having to divert their route due to several cols being closed due to snow, and facing a hailstorm and torrential rain the team hit the welcome sunshine and beach on the Cote d'Azur within the target time, helped by speeds of up to 73.3 km/h (45.5 mph) on the downward stretches.

Simon explained his reasons for supporting the JWCT: “as a life-long beneficiary of the experiences of travel and active pursuits and the good fortune of disability-free health I strongly believe in giving young people, already faced with challenges, the opportunity to realise their potential.” Both Simon and Tim had accompanied Matt Willson, Jeremy’s brother, in the London to Edinburgh challenge for the JWCT in May 2008.

Corporate matching gift donated – June 2009

Capital International Ltd, a company headquartered in London, made a corporate matching gift of £6,000 to the JWCT in June 2009. The donation was made as part of the company’s gift-matching scheme: when an employee makes a gift to a registered charity such as the JWCT, the company may match this donation, in full or in part, and some companies even match at more than 100% of the donation!

Donation received from electronic Christmas cards – December 2008
  Phil Bramall, who provides pro bono accountancy services to the JWCT through his company Tenbury Ltd, kindly donated the proceeds from sending Christmas cards by email instead of by post. Phil’s environmentally friendly idea raised £200 for the JWCT’s activities.


Coastal Trail Series, Dorset – November 2008


A friend and colleague from Jeremy’s Bristol University days, Pete Goddard, completed an arduous marathon in poor conditions along Dorset’s Jurassic coastline in aid of the JWCT.

Pete described his experience as follows: “A night of heavy rain and high winds . . . wasn't particularly encouraging for the race on Saturday morning, my foreboding was made worse at the wet and cold pre-race briefing where I seemed to be the only person foolish enough not to have specialist fell running footwear. The course was a figure of eight that went west along the coastal path to Kimmeridge Bay, then up onto the Purbeck hills and back inland to near the start at Worth Matravers, where it then crossed back to the coastal path eastwards until the headland near Swanage, before returning inland to the finish at Worth Matravers. As we set off the rain stopped and although breezy, conditions were pretty good - we even had some sun. Beforehand I thought the hills would be the biggest challenge but in fact they weren't too bad - many were too steep (and slippery) to attempt to run up so everyone had to walk them. It was very muddy underfoot and I slipped and slid all over the place, including some spectacular flat-on-the-face moments.”

Despite the challenging weather and hilly terrain, Pete rounded off the 26.2miles in just over four hours. Pete said “as with some low points during the training, thinking of Jeremy's drive and determination got me through and gave me the will to grin and bear the pain to carry on.” The event on 18 November 2008 raised over £1,000 for the JWCT.

Digital media company employees nominates JWCT for donation - August 2008

  The employees of Creative Labs UK and its subsidiary 3D Labs donated the proceeds of a staff charity software sale to Jeremy’s charity. £250 was very kindly donated thanks to the nomination of the JWCT by Pete Harrison, a former school friend of Jeremy’s from Maidstone Grammar School, who now works for the company.


City to Surf Run, Sydney – August 2008

  Tym Blackwell, a friend of Jeremy’s from his days as a Scout, and seven colleagues from his company in Sydney completed the 14km City to Surf Run on 10 August 2008 in just over an hour. The City to Surf run is one of the most famous and best-attended fun runs in the world which always attracts great support from locals and tourists. Runners set off from the start line close to Hyde Park in the heart of the city and race along a course that takes in some of the city's leafy suburbs before ending along the strip at the world-famous Bondi Beach. Tym’s employers Pareto Fundraising kindly matched the funding raised by the participants, achieving a total of £720.


Climb of the world’s most northerly 7,000m peak – August 2008


Oli Brown, a good friend of Jeremy, braved the tough conditions of the world’s most northerly 7,000m peak to raise £1,250 for the JWCT commenting after the climb “I think it was certainly the most tiring thing I've ever done”. Oli climbed the north ridge of Khan Tengri, a 7,010m mountain in the Tien Shan range on the border of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The mountain, whose name means ‘Lord of the Spirits’, is spectacularly capped by a pyramid of marble. It has notoriously fickle weather and temperatures that drop to minus 35C and the route was steep and exposed, and vertical in a few places.

Despite having a liver/gall-bladder infection which nearly resulted in a helicopter evacuation, Oli kept giving it ‘just one more day’ until the team reached Camp Three after a day stuck in a blizzard at Camp Two. Oli commented “we had absolutely perfect conditions for the summit. Not long after we left the tents at 4am it started to get light and soon we were high enough to get a stunning view over the north and south Inylchek glaciers (some of the largest in the world outside the Poles) and for a hundred kilometres in every direction across the central Tien Shan. Nine and a half hours later we were standing on top and another 5 or so more saw me back down at camp three. Very, very tired but content.”

Oli commented that “Jez was a dear friend of mine who would have loved to come on this climb. He was a remarkable guy.” He also said of the JWCT “this is a great organisation that is making a real difference”.


Charmain & Greg’s wedding – May 2008


Charmain Mohamed and Greg Andrew kindly asked their wedding guests to donate to the JWCT instead of giving them presents at the ceremony on the 31 May 2008. Charmain and Greg, both good friends of Jeremy, having volunteered with him in Indonesia in 1993, helped raise £770 for the JWCT.

Greg said "Jez [Jeremy] was an important friend to both of us, as we all met back when we were seventeen years old, embarking on a year's adventure in Indonesia. We loved him very dearly and he would have continued to be an important part of our lives. Neither of us felt like climbing a mountain or running a marathon, so instead we decided to get married to raise money for the charity. Jez would have been proud!"

Charmain added "I think Jez would have been tickled pink to hear that Greg and I finally got together after all those years. As our oldest 'joint' friend it was incredibly sad he couldn't share celebrating our marriage with us, so asking our guests to donate to the charity instead of buying us presents seemed the most obvious and natural thing to do."


Swim, Cycle, Run - London to Edinburgh – May 2008


Matt Willson, accompanied by friends Simon Ferguson and Tim Grimble, successfully completed a challenge to swim, cycle and run from London to Edinburgh.

Following a chilly 2-mile swim in the Serpentine in Hyde Park in 1 hour 5 mins, Matt joined the team at Marble Arch, London, for a very early rise to cycle the 439 miles over four days to Edinburgh. The first two days covering 256 miles via Peterborough and Lincoln proved to be relatively easy going however days three and four were much harder with some long climbs through the Yorkshire Moors and Border Country.

The team were blessed with an efficient support team (Matt’s father and brother Tom) who kept them well fed and watered, and the weather was favourable, meaning that they were able to cruise into Edinburgh following a relatively easy 47 mile last day’s cycle. The following day the team were up early again for the Edinburgh Marathon which Matt ran in a painful 3 hours 50 mins. Matt could barely walk at the end of the marathon but was pleased to complete without too many mishaps apart from the odd bike accident and lost team members!

The event, which quickly evolved from a pub conversation to reality, raised over £7,000 for the JWCT and increased awareness of the JWCT and Jeremy’s story. See articles in the Kent Messenger and Surrey Advertiser.

Articles reporting on how the team fared can be seen in the Kent Messenger and on TV in the Meridian News.


London Marathon - April 2008


Two tough girls, Lucy Cannock and Lorna Buckwell (see photo), ran the London Marathon for the JWCT in April 2008, both raising essential funds for the charity.

Lucy explained in the months before the endurance event that she had put herself through “an insane training regime of ‘before sunrise’ starts and a daily dose of pain and embarrassment as I run around London desperately trying to find miles to run”. The training paid off and she achieved an official finishing time of 3 hours 51 minutes. The day after the event she explained that she was a “little sore” and “not walking in the most attractive fashion”, however she raised an incredible £1,300 from the generosity of her family and friends.

Lorna completed the event in a fantastic 4 hours 19 minutes despite sustaining an injury weeks before. After finishing she said “the last 4.2 miles were really tough and it started to hail as I trudged towards Big Ben but the crowd were really amazing and they definitely helped me get round. The feeling of elation on crossing the finishing line is quite something”. Lorna explained that she had chosen to raise money for the charity set up in memory of Jeremy Willson because “I probably would not be running a marathon if it wasn't for the example Jeremy set to live life to the full and to attempt new challenges.” Lorna raised over £800 thanks to her efforts.


Edinburgh Half Marathon - March 2008

  Sarah Knight paced the streets of Edinburgh completing the 21.1 kilometres in a worthy 1 hour 51 minutes 19 seconds, despite minimal training. As she said before the race “I haven't been able to train yet . . . Over the last few weeks I've had a virus, food poisoning and now pleurodynia.” Sarah said after tucking into a well-deserved pizza following the race “it was such a brilliant race I really enjoyed it although I was overtaken at one point by an 85 year-old man! The bunions held up well although I've just lost 2 toenails. Edinburgh was a great course despite the head on sea-winds!” Sarah raised £315 for the JWCT for her efforts.


The JWCT presents at Project Trust’s 40th Anniversary event – February 2008

  Jeremy’s family attended the first event promoting the JWCT at the Project Trust’s 40th Anniversary event at the Royal Geographical Society, London on 4 March 2008. Jeremy was a volunteer for the Project Trust for his year out teaching English at BPLP in Sulawesi, Indonesia, aged 18. Jeremy thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from his experiences. The event was a great opportunity to tell people about Jeremy, what he had achieved subsequently, and about the aims and activities of the JWCT. Jeremy’s family thank Lavinia Maclean-Bristol (Director, Project Trust), Ali MacDonald and Alison Fraser for facilitating the display and a memorable evening.

See a full description of the event and a mention of the JWCT (on page 12) in the Project Trust’s returned volunteer newsletter.

The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust
a charity registered in England and Wales. No. 1114871