Picture the scene, disembarking from the West Coast of Africa with a precious cargo of palm oil - the lush vegetation, the light winds, the brilliant sunshine, and then heading northbound for Liverpool. The skies becoming progressively greyer, the sailing harder and the landscape less inviting. To be surrounded by treacherous seas and seeking a safe course through a headland and island, only to be cast on to the reef and dashed to the cliffs. Ramsey Sound is a notorious channel of water - impossible to swim, and in this bleak and freezing backdrop, you and your 8 crew members cling to the rocks wondering how long you can hold on.
This was the fate of The Mystic Tie in 1887 and her crew. Certain death awaited them until the salvation of a lifeboat came into view. Captained by my great-great-grandfather (the first coxswain of the first lifeboat in St David’s, Wales, the UK's smallest city, from 1869 - 1893) who was awarded vellum of the institution for saving these 9 lives.
The extraordinary sacrifice of this lifeboat crew and crews thereafter that still serve the waters around the United Kingdom - volunteers, all giving up their time and dedicating themselves to seafaring and rescue expertise. This ethos of giving passed down from my great-great-grandfather to me, and I proudly served the same lifeboat station for over 5 years before moving to London, to work on my new start-up.
No longer living by the sea, and crewing on the lifeboat, it was important for me to channel that ethos of helping others into my business life. Many people have helped me over the years in so many ways, including referring new customers to the various businesses I had previously.
I believe referrals are one of the best ways for any business to acquire more customers, and this is where the journey of upGive begins.
But upGive is not just about advocacy programs. It's a community for non-profits and businesses to connect and exchange resources to help each other.
Inspired by how my great-great-grandfather devoted his time and risked his life to help others, upGive will grow beyond its core principles to transform lives in our local communities, for the better.
Oh, and this is a photo of my great-great-grandfather. Pretty cool, hey! :)