One of the greatest pleasures of being Member of Parliament for Crawley is having the chance to meet extraordinary people, taking part in various activities to push themselves, and to raise money for good causes.
I recently met with Trudi Bubb, a local businesswoman who is sailing halfway round the globe in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, to raise money for the Golden Lion Children’s Trust.
Trudi will set sail on 15th January 2016 in the 20,000 mile clipper yacht race. This is the only race in the world where the organisers supply the fleet of 14 identical, 70-foot, stripped down racing yachts, and man each with a fully-qualified skipper, employed to lead Trudi and the crew safely across the water.
Trudi will be representing Team Unicef alongside a crew of around 15 to 20 people per leg. She was telling me just how hard she will need to work to ensure Team Unicef finishes as quickly as possible – it is not unusual that boats may finish within minutes of each other after three weeks and 3,000 miles of ocean racing.
The dedication shown by Trudi and her teammates is inspiring, and the training alone is extremely tough.
Participants range from 18 to 70 years of age, and will bring together people from a variety of walks of life. Nathan Robertson, GB Olympic badminton medallist in 2004, recently signed up to join the GREAT Britain team.
Regardless of background, all members of each team will need to work closely together.
Trudi will be away from home for six months, until July 2016, and is aiming to raise £20,000 for the Golden Lion Children's Trust based in Crawley.
The Trust was set up in 1973 and provides assistance to special needs and underprivileged children.
The charity was founded by people working for British Caledonian, and the charity continues to be involved with people from Gatwick Airport and the surrounding areas, and works to help people across Sussex and in parts of Surrey and Kent.
Trudi is also hoping that the business community in Crawley will get behind her efforts; either via a donation to the Golden Lion Children's Trust, or through assisting with the costs of the kit that is required.
To make a donation to the Golden Lion Children’s Trust, please visit: www.justgiving.com/Trudi-Bubb