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Matthew John

Helps raise over £250,000 for Ďgohelpí charity! crack

James Neal interviewed Matt to find out more.

How did you get involved with the gohelp charity?

I was approached by some friends, Stephen Edwards and David Griffths, to help get involved. Mainly on a marketing aspect. We started in 2007. But we didnít really get it off the ground till 2008. I have some experience in marketing and pr, so came onboard to help, and it has grown from there. It was a very very small charity, but over the last few years, working as a team, it has grown and we have obviously raised a lot of money. I didnít quite expect it to grow this large, but proud of what we have been to achieve. And itís been fun and educational.

Over £250,000. That is quite an achievement. How did you manage that?

Well, Iím not too sure (he laughs). Things just grew, we just kept working on it. Stephen Edwards and David, really deserve more of the credit. Particularly Stephans as it was his idea. I think there are two very key factors, which helped. A: Team work. I think we have stuck well as a team. And that is also really what the rallies are about, team work. And I think that has primarily helped, not only in the rallies, but also in helping raise the money. I canít highlight how important that is, and Stephen, David, Annabel, Karen, Everyone. We work so well as a team. And people that go on the rallies or work with the charity. They like the rallies. They like us. They like the charity. They want to help. And things grow. Expand.

The other thing is. The marketability. This idea was great. It appeals to students, holiday makers, companies looking to sending their staff on team building exercises. Particularly with companies, looking for team building exercises.

It sounds like great fun?

Oh donít be mistaken. There are problems. Things you wonít even believe. These Rallies arenít easy. There have been mistakes, dramas and problems. And the stuff, particular what Stephen and David have had to deal with. They have had to speak to prime ministers and local authorities. The stories are unreal. But we, they, other teams, have always overcome them, and been able to accomplish things which we didnít think were possible. And that is where the true value, in this project lies, accomplishing things you thought werenít possible.

If you have staff, that arenít being productive enough. Send them on one of these Rallies, They will come back with a new strength in team work. Able to be more productive. Be more successful. Accomplish bigger and greater goals. As that is what the Rallies is all about. If you are a young student or person, sat at home, feeling you want more in life. Go on the rallie. You will have fun, learn more things, know that you skills.

How do you feel the Rallies has changed your life?

The team work again. Funnily enough, just before I started with this project. I was at a place in my life, where I had worked with a group of people. Where the team work had broken down. And everything had fallen apart. And I had lost faith in people. In myself. About wheather people could work well. And Stephen and I talked. We talked about how we could work together. And this has helped me. Rebuilt my faith in people. Sounds abit cheesy, but it is true. Rebuilt my own belief in how I can problem solve and work in a team. I strongly recommend going on a rally or working with the charity, as it is an extraordinary rewarding feeling.

What type of people go on these Rallies?

Anyone and everyone. Really. But what I would like to pitch.

A: If youíre at a point in your life, where youíre not sure what you want to do in life. Join the charity. Learn how to problem solve. Learn how to work in a team. Make friends. Have adventures. Without sounding like an army advert, learn more skills. Do things you wouldnít expect to do, by sitting at home in front of the TV.

B: Directors of companies. If your staff, arenít being productive. If they arenít working well as a team. Send them on a Rallie. They will have fun. Come back as a strong productive team. Plus, you can claim charitable donations back off your tax bill. Plus. Sponsor the charity. PR potential. As the charity is well known all over the world. Itís a no-brainer. Works on every level.

And its fun. (matthew laughs).

Why did you get involved in the charity?

Well it was Stephen Edwards, who is a solicitor, who founded the charity. He came up with the idea and got in touch with me. I primarily work in the film and entertainment industry, with an expertise in marketing and pr.

The film/ entertainment industry is a fairly shallow industry. But my family background is very different. My folks run home for disabled people. My family has a history of fostering or adopting or disabled or dis-advantaged children. I think/ hope I have a fairly charitable nature. And I think it is very important to do charitably work. Not only for the people who benefit from the charity, but also for yourself. Might sound a very selfish reason. But it the truth. Particularly with me. I like to be reminded on the real important things in life- keeps me grounded. But, and sorry to go back to the point. But the team work. Stephen Edwards and the team are fantastic. And when people work together you can do great things. Being part of a team is a great and very rewarding thing.

Who benefits from the Rallies?

Each Rally, helps different causes, countries in a slightly different ways. The last rallie we did in Cambodian helped primarily with support needed in cambodia. It helped with water, sanitation, housing, construction, sustainable agriculture, healthcare, childcare, orphan care and education. Many varying ways. But Stephen primarily looks at putting the money into, projects that help the people, help themselves. Weather that be in schools, or giving people tools that help them grow their own food or run their businesses. And sometimes, we work with other charityís, that are based in those areas. So it changes. The next rallies will be helping people in Mongolio and Takistan. I can send you the link, which I would be grateful if you could post.

Can you tell us more about this?

Takistan, is on the 3 July, involves teams driving from London to Tajikistan. The length of the drive is around 8000 miles. Teams are required to raise a minimum of £750. And it is in partnership with a charity called SWORDE. A Tajikistan based charity. Vehicles that make it to the finishing line are sold to raise money for SWORDE too.

Mongolio Charity starts on the 10 July 2010. Itís a big one. An epic six-week, 10,000 mile drive that starts at Highbury Fields in Islington, finishes in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. They get to go over, I think, five mountain ranges, two deserts and the vast Eurasian steppes along the way. Itís not an easy one. But wow, what an adventure. If youíre a adrenaline junky, I highly recommend it.