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One-Line Bio

A forty-something husband, father and grandfather who wants to make a difference.


So what do you want to know?

I'm blissfully married (to Amanda), and have 3 lovely daughters (Corinne, Lauren and Charlotte) and 3 wonderful grandsons (Ben, Alex and Joe), with yet another grandson on the way.

I worked in retail for years, spent some time in the leisure industry, and worked for myself for a while (all of this covering organisations such as Mobil, BP, Safeway, Whitbread and Virgin).

In 2003 I gave up paid work for a while and devoted the next few years (although a little longer than planned) to develop Give It...

We set up a not-for-profit organisation (Give It) and convinced a number of recognisable charities (initially Barnardo’s, Help the Aged, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Save the Children and Sight Savers International) to allow us to try and generate funds for them as part of a group of charities. We couldn't get any grants or other funding to get things going and so borrowed funds privately to develop and launch the services - we hope to pay these loans back over the coming months and years!

We then developed (with a small new-media company, CircleSquare) and launched, The Alternative Wedding List. We also worked with the charity unit of Fox Murphy (a communications company) to develop our branding and sub-branding along with various marketing materials.

The Alternative Wedding List (and its’ subsequent sister services) is an online wedding list where couples pick a group of charities and their gift list is made up of various donations to these charities – each donation is ‘wrapped up’ like a gift (mirroring a traditional gift list) so that their guests can see the value of their donation to each charity.

Rather than expecting charities to market the service to their supporters (not many of whom would be our target market) we immersed ourselves in the wedding industry, appearing at dozens of wedding fairs, advertising heavily in wedding magazines, appearing on various wedding websites, generating PR, and much more.

It's not been easy but the response has been positive;
1. We have started to generate funds – we launched in 2004 and, although weddings are a slow business, we’ve already generated our first £500,000 for participating charities.
2. We have stimulated interest from other potential service providers – since we launched we have seen more charities take the opportunity seriously and have seen both traditional and new wedding list services develop charitable options to sit alongside their existing offers (although not always in the best interests of charities).
3. We have stimulated significant interest across the industry – wedding magazines now refer to the options as being a growing trend rather than an off-the-wall idea, other parts of the industry are considering how they can make a difference at the same time, and couples have heard of the options and a growing number are seriously considering the alternatives.

We weren’t the first to generate funds for charity from weddings but we were the first to look at the bigger picture, the first to become part of the industry, and the first to commit to ongoing marketing in the industry. There’s still some way to go but we believe we’ve made the breakthrough (for ourselves and for others) in making the charity wedding list a credible alternative.