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Who We Are

Inspired Life is a statement of intent as much as an organisation. We work with an incredible collection of inspirational speakers, story tellers, and presenters from many different walks of life. We are passionate about inspiring young people, communities and organisations to embrace their full potential and to follow their dreams.

The co-founders Martin and Richard were key members of the Ghana Ski Team at the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 and experienced first hand the incredible impact of the Olympics to inspire, change lives and unite communities. The Ghana Ski Team was a global media phenomenon based on Kwame The Snow Leopard who came from a country with no snow, had no funding and first learned to ski indoors in the UK aged 29. Kwame's seemingly impossible dream captured the imagination of millions of people across the planet. Richard and Martin decided (in the diner in Whistler) to share their incredible experiences and the journey to inspire a generation.

We set up Inspired Life as a Community Interest Company to ensure it behaved as a true social enterprise with benefits and earnings going back to yours and my community.   We believe more like a charity than many others and last year over 76% of all funding received was used in direct delivery of programmes for young people and communities.

Furthermore, as we have grown, all the resources and materials and lots of other developmental activities have been created for free with our time gifted to help young people and their communities.  Inspired Life has already received over 1700 hours of volunteer time from the founders, the board and many of our role models and speakers. As we grow we aim to continue this notion of giving back and making a different for others.

Who we are

Inspired Life has been set up by a core team of individuals determined to inspire people, organisations and communities through inspiring resources and people.  Whilst we don’t want to blow our own trumpet too hard we equally want to let you know that you are in a safe pair of hands.  We aspire to live the dream every day, trying to inspire, challenge and change perspectives where needed.

When we sat down and thought about it we had an amazing track record, not necessarily as an entity that you would know as Inspired Life but more importantly in the people who lead the organisation.

Richard Harpham – Co Founder and Executive Director

Richard spent 10 years with AWG (formerly Anglia Water) as a director of various subsidiaries including Managing Director of Morrison Facilities Management, growing it from £9m turnover to a profitable £25m turnover business. He then was appointed board director of their £200M facilities services business.  Following a Cranfield MBA he then spent 5 years as a entrepreneur setting up majorsporty.com, an online store and community like a facebook for sport.  Majorsporty traded for 5 years before winding up in 2008.

Since then he has pursued a career in project management and volunteering delivering high profile projects as well as managing the Ghana Ski Team to the Vancouver Winter Olympics. In 2009 he decided to become a professional adventurer and has now completed over 6,500 miles of human powered adventure by bike, kayak and canoe.  He writes regularly for adventure magazines and works as a presenter for Visit Britain TV on short films about adventure in Britain.

Martin Desborough – Co Founder and Non-Executive Director

Martin has been a serial entrepreneur for a number of years and more recently has worked extensively in the charity and voluntary sector.  He is marketing and digital expert and has managed both national and international digital projects and marketing campaigns, including as the Communications and Sales Director for the Ghana Ski Team at the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010.. This has given vast experience in delivering brand development by creative solutions, delivering top class results.

Martin is currently a senior leader at a national research institute and also works as a partner in a strategic management consultancy firm. Martin's recent focus has been on delivering digital innovation in products and services to families in the UK, alongside studying an Executive MBA at the Cranfield School of Management.

Colin Drewett

Colin is a qualified chartered accountant with a vast experience of operations and financial management for global organisations. He has a unique blend of big business skills linked to the personal interest and touch needed for a smaller organisations.

Colin was formerly Finance Director for GE Capital for Europe.  Colin takes a keen interest in all things sporting but admits now that is more of an armchair passion.

Ashley Kenlock

Ashley is an experienced project manager with broad skills drawn from a wide range of different sectors. She has a Masters in Equine Science and used to train and ride the Queen’s horses. She also ran her own construction and maintenance company for several years.  Ashley has considerable experience and training in youth Mental Health and is a great facilitator for young people as part of the Inspired Life team. Ashley is never happier than when she is in the great outdoors working with animals. She has her own (very old) horses and still rides regularly.

Dr Barry Funnell

Barry is a legend and was an Olympic Torch Carrier at London 2012 - selected based on his work in Africa tackling literacy and spreading faith as well as championing disability. Barry was the world’s first paraplegic dentist who has developed a love for adventure. He recently handbiked from Lands End to John O Groats raising funds for charity. He is an inspirational speaker and the students are always amazed by his story and resilience. Barry is a keen golfer who has also won the South African Disabled Open.

Our collective track record includes;

  • Living an inspired Life
  • Managing a ski team to a Vancouver Winter Olympics
  • Being an Olympic Torch Carrier
  • Founding charities and helping others
  • Founding and growing a successful destination marketing business
  • Completing several Masters degrees and various other degrees between the team
  • Founding and growing an online sports and leisure community as an entrepreneur for 5 years
  • Working with educational projects and organisations such as Young Enterprise and The Princes Trust
  • Growing a facilities management company 276% in 14 months as managing director

Role Models

Our inspirational role models are like family to us. Working with so many inspiring people who are living following their dreams and choosing happiness over wealth is intoxicating.  Our role models include artists, Olympians, adventurers and musicians.  Between them they have painted 10 metre long murals, made films, won Olympic Medals, climbed the North Face of the Eiger, Everest, Cycled around the world,  rowed oceans, played Coldplay’s after show party and overcome many different set backs.  They are world champions, Guinness World Record Holders but most of all they live a life less ordinary.

One of the great things about Inspired Life has been watching them inspire each other and we have even had expeditions, events and new initiatives delivered by our role models working with each other.

Community Interest Companies and Charitable Endeavours

Community Interest Companies (CICS) are limited companies, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage.

This is achieved by a "community interest test" and an "asset lock", which ensure that the CIC is established for community purposes and the assets and profits are dedicated to these purposes.

Registration of a company as a CIC has to be approved by the Regulator who also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role.

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Copyright Inspired Life Community Interest Company 2013