British Gas business blog

Road safety with James Cracknell and planning lessons from a successful home-based charity


 Luke Cameron, winner of the Nicest Job in Britain, continues his journey across the UK, helping charities big and small. Find out where he went and which charities he worked for below.

Now that I’m into the full swing of the Nicest Job in Britain, the enormity of what I’ve got to get done has finally hit me.

The initial adrenaline has subsided and all I can do now is concentrate on one week at a time, giving my all to each charity.


The seventh charity on my list was RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).

For those of you who are a tad older than I, you’ll remember Tufty the Squirrel, a fluffy little guy who taught the importance of road safety in schools.

However, since membership peaked at 1 million in the ‘80s, RoSPA haven’t been in the public eye as much.

They now spend the majority of their time lobbying government to make key changes to legislation for our safety, working silently behind the scenes.

Seatbelts in cars? That was RoSPA.

Wearing a helmet whilst cycling? RoSPA.

Not texting whilst driving? Again, RoSPA.

So you see, what they do saves lives, real lives.

But you try and market accident prevention Almost impossible. Trying to convince people to give money to stop something from happening is not an easy challenge.

What they do – and do well – is education.

I was incredibly lucky to join Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell and Homes under the Hammer presenter Martin Roberts at a school in Birmingham. They were giving a day of road and bike safety training to the kids to make sure they are educated on the dangers of riding on the road.

The school had initially agreed to host the campaign launch because one of their students, a young girl, lost her life on her way home.
I had an interesting insight into a very unusual charity and it is one I will most definitely remember.

Brain Tumour Research

Research charities are a different egg.

They don’t directly contribute something to the general public, but provide vital research to help prevent conditions that cost millions of lives every single year.

Brain Tumour Research was founded by Sue Farrington-Smith, and actually operates out of her farmhouse in the Oxfordshire countryside.

Sue lost her 10-year-old niece to a fatal brain tumour, and she vowed to put her commercial background to good use and create the biggest brain tumour research charity in the country.

Eight years on she isn’t far off and the charity turns over just shy of £2.1m a year.

I arrived in the middle of their busiest time, Brain Tumour Awareness month. They had orders flooding in left, right and centre for their fundraising packs, cleverly pulled together by Sue to give people products to sell at their own events, which raise money for the charity.

It was a really well-run operation and I could see why the charity had become so successful in such a short space of time.

If I take anything away from Brain Tumour Research it’s this: being commercial is vital if a charity is to not only survive, but become successful.


Charity number 9 and an unusual one.

Sibs caters for the brothers and sisters who care for their siblings with learning disabilities.

Monika, the chief executive of the charity, has a brother with Downs Syndrome. She is his primary carer.

It’s her duty and responsibility to look after all of her brother’s needs, as well as her own.

Monika realised there was a need for people like her, carers. Sibs was born.

Monika’s aim is to bring a support network to the people that need it.

I spent my week with them travelling the country, meeting a wide range of different ‘siblings’, and getting their perspective on how they cope with life as a carer.

It was immersive and insightful and I went away seeing the world in a very different way.

Animal Rescue Cumbria

Those who know me know I love animals. Love. So travelling up to the Lake District to spend the week with an animal rescue sanctuary was my idea of heaven. Lake District and animals – Not a

Animal Rescue Cumbria is a small shelter that only rescues dogs and cats.

Sitting in the kennels with a beautiful Shar Pei called Harvey, I could see his anxiety. He was abused by two men and now is incredibly nervous. Those scars of abuse will stay with him for the rest of his life; all because somebody mistreated him. If you can’t handle an animal, don’t get one. It’s pretty simple. working week!

I spent my week cleaning kennels, feeding and walking the animals, and pulling together a strategy for the charity.

Being a small local charity they didn’t have the time or resources to implement a proper business plan and desperately needed some help. So I helped them put a plan in place to keep the doors open.

It is with the smaller charities that I really do feel I make much more of a difference. Even if it’s small overall, it’s big to them.

Exit mobile version