I was born into a mining family in Ashington, Northumberland in the early 1970s. Things were really getting tough there in eighties and my parents decided to emigrate to South Africa. Mines were closing and major job losses were on the cards. The decision my parents made at the time opened up some brilliant opportunities for me. I went to University and became an accountant and enjoyed a successful career in tourism and nature conservation.
More recently I moved back to Northumberland and am now the CEO at The Alnwick Garden. The Garden is and award-winning Charity. It is not only an amazing place for a day out but it also runs eight brilliant community programmes. Our programmes fall under two strands – “Elderberries” for over 55s and “Education and Enterprise” for younger people.
Our vision is to transform our Education and Enterprise programme by building a new Education Facility. Our young people’s programme currently runs out of a 20-year-old Porta Cabin and is not fit for purpose. You can find out more about our programmes by clicking the link below.
I know from my experience that there are young people out there who can achieve great things, they just need to be given the opportunity. That’s why the new Education Centre is so important to me. It will allow us to do so much more and provide a space where young people can be inspired to reach their potential.
In order to raise funds for the new Centre I am self-funding a trip to the Himalayas to complete one of the most iconic and challenging treks – Three Passes and Everest Base Camp. The 18 day trek will involve three 5600m passes ending at Everest Base Camp. All funds raised will go to The Garden’s restricted funds to build a new Education Centre.
For more about The Garden’s community programmes click here
Born Henry Bruce Sharp (known as Harry) I was brought up in Inverkeithing in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland and at the age of 10 I read about Edmond Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reaching the summit of Everest in 1953, I still have that cutting from the newspaper it was reported in.
I have always had a sense of adventure and during my twenties and thirties I worked in the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and Europe.
In 1978 I relocated to Northumberland and remained in a county that I have now adopted as my home where the people have such warmth and are wholesome in their culture
In the 1990’s and 2000-10 I spent my spare time involved with the Falcons; the first rugby club in the country to turn professional, I was in a fortunate position to sponsor many a young man to live their dream to become well known players and I travelled the world taking under twenty-ones to experience international rugby.
2011 it was my turn to live my dream and it was my first visit to the Himalayas, this was followed by another visit in 2013. The urge to return for what will possibly be my last visit is so strong as I have now reached the age of 75 and to have the opportunity to travel with Mark whose South African friend organises the treks, will mean so much to me and I will be able to share the experience but also we can try and raise as much money for the proposed Education Centre for The Alnwick Garden.