New Year Greetings from the Captain


Captain in Panama (Hat fact: all ‘Panama’ hats come from Ecuador – and always have done).

Dear Shipmates

I hope you’ve all had a jolly festive season. It’s been a bit breezy up on the bridge of the good ship GMIH, but all is set fair for the coming year. Inspired by Her Majesty’s Christmas speech I thought maybe it was time for some ‘reflection’, which, according to ‘Her Madge’ can be both backwards and forwards. So let’s review our co-ordinates and chart our voyage ahead…

Current location and co-ordinates:

  1. Five beneficiaries – and more to come we hope. Four of our beneficiaries are doing the London Blue Badge Tourist Guide training course. Denisa and Marija have their final exams in February 2014, Rob and Xiao have another year to go. Karolina, our latest beneficiary, is 20 years old and doing an Airport and Airline Management course at the University of West London. There have been other applicants but they haven’t worked out or materialised for one reason or another.
  2. New website up and running. It’s meant to be more of a forum for beneficiaries and interested parties, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to contribute. Rob and Xiao have recently posted interesting blogs about their course, and there will be more to come from them and the others. The plan is for the beneficiaries to drive the website. If you need guidance on posting a profile and blogs as well as other social media you can either contact me, or better still, our senior navigator (IT), Matt Ladd –
  3. A busy year for the tourism profession. London and the UK have had one of the busiest tourism years ever. It’s definitely the profession for young people to get involved in, so we want to continue to offer support wherever we can. I noticed how important the tourism profession is myself on a couple of work trips to Ecuador in my other role as an educational management trainer in ELT (English Language Teaching): It’s not just the Queen who gets to travel! (By the way, do you like the hat?). English is clearly the language of international business, travel and tourism, and so many of the managers and teachers I was working with in Ecuador are working in English for Tourism. (NB none of them new what a ‘TVP’ was!)  

Charting the voyage ahead:

  1. Focus on the world of guiding. We’ve had most success in recruiting beneficiaries who are interested in tourist guiding (not surprisingly perhaps, given that this is the area of tourism I’m most involved in). So we plan to build on this sector, with existing beneficiaries helping to spread the word. Of course, we’ll continue to accept other beneficiaries, and Karolina is a good example of that.
  2. An exciting new prize. We are planning to establish an annual ‘Sam Harding Prize’. More details of this will follow, but we hope it will be a publicity opportunity – publicising GMIH, and stressing the important role of young people in tourism, as well as a way for those who knew Sam to remember him.
  3. Fund-raising. Funds have continued to come in in 2013 (especially Pakefield chutney), but we need to have a few more events in 2014 – and remember, it’s about getting together and having fun as well as raising money. We’re starting with a tour of the Houses of Parliament in the New Year. It’s yet to be confirmed, but we did a similar event last year which was successful.
  4. Get together. A party or similar event for all our beneficiaries, probably in March or April.

So, what’s YOUR ‘Go Make It Happen’ new year’s resolution?

Happy new year everyone. To close, here’s a final reflection, a view from the Captain’s bridge (well, balcony), taken on Christmas Day 2013.



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About Keith

Hi I am Keith. Sam was my son and together with close friends and family we set up 'Go Make It Happen!' in Sam's memory and with his spirit running through it. The aim is to help young people to get involved in the tourism profession. I work partly in tourism (as a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide) and partly in English Language Teaching (writing materials, running training courses overseas, and inspecting language schools in the UK for the British Council).