Mad Hatters 2 Pub Quiz

Nearly a hundred people turned up for the ‘Mad Hatters 2’ Pub Quiz at the Prince of Wales in Covent Garden on 2nd October. The quiz was run by ‘Guide London’ (the Association of Professional Tourist Guides) and half of the participants were tourist guides keen to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their knowledge. The rest came from various walks of life and included friends of Sam, as well as friends and colleagues of Keith.

Approximately £900 was raised for ‘Go Make It Happen. Some of our beneficiaries were present on the night, two of whom hot-footed it from a Blue Badge Tourist Guide training course lecture on Canterbury. I’m sure they were impressed with how all that acquired knowledge is put to such a useful purpose.

Prizes went to:

  • Winning team: ‘The Perfect Ten’ consisting of Jon Brahms, Tony Hall, Britt Lonsdale, Nigel Rundstrom and Jitka Navratilova.
  • Brain of the APTG: Mike Armitage
  • Best Hat: Delianne Forget

Thanks to Tour Guides Ltd, Antonia Cometa and an anonymous donor for the prizes. And thanks to everyone for making it a great night.




Jeanie and Steve relaxing mid-quiz

My New York adventure

Hi, my name is Nathalie and this will be my first blog post on here. I will write about my big adventure I was able to do earlier this summer, thanks to Go Make It Happen.

I have very recently finished my undergraduate degree in Tourism Management at Bournemouth University. Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with cancer and had to take over a year out for treatments etc. Despite this I did decide to return to university and although it has taken me longer than I intended to, I am immensely proud to have had the strength to go back. I have a great interest in the tourism industry, but with a particular passion for disaster management. For those unfamiliar with this concept, disaster management is essentially the management of responsibilities and resources to lessen the impact of disasters. So when I retuned to uni I was dedicated to work towards getting a foot in this particular field. As a result, I was accepted on to an international diploma course in Humanitarian Assistance at Fordham University, New York. The course was run by the Centre for International Humanitarian Cooperation.

It was a four week long and very intensive course, and one of the best experiences of my life. Being in New York for four weeks alone was incredible, but the knowledge I gained, the people I met and the confidence boost it gave me was invaluable. Our tutors were all very experienced from the field and we had many guest lectures from organisations such as the UN and various NGO’s. My fellow students also came from all over the world with individual knowledge and experience from the field. I was surrounded by so many inspiring people and the experience I gained by just being in this environment will stay with me for a very long time.

Although it was really hard work, I enjoyed every minute of it and it has made me even more determined than before that this is the field I want to work within. It may sound very far off from tourism, but I believe it is a field which the tourism industry should have closer relationships with. As tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries, it has a significant power to influence a range of stakeholders. For my final paper of the course I did write about this and the importance for the tourism industry to acknowledge the implications of humanitarian and environmental disasters on the industry.

Due to my medical condition, I was unable to work alongside my studies in my final year. Therefore the contribution I was very kindly given from GMIH made it possible for me to attend this course. So I want to give a great thank you to GMIH for making it possible. And to anyone struggling: Go Make It Happen, nothing is impossible as long as you have the drive.

Nathalie xx

An audience with King Charles I – and Danny Parlour

Danny Parlour, GMIH beneficiary and soon to start his Blue Badge Tourist Guide training course, treated us to a guided tour of the Banqueting House in Whitehall on Friday 29th August. Not only did we learn all about this fascinating building and the fabulous Rubens ceiling paintings, we also got to meet King Charles I and his wife Queen Henrietta Maria. The King was remarkably chipper considering this was the place of his execution.

Thanks Danny, it was a great tour. The Banqueting House is certainly worth a visit, as is the bar in the undercroft! See:


At the Oscars

Not THE Oscars of course, but the Oscars of the Tourist Guiding world. The award ceremony for newly qualified London Blue Badge Tourist Guides was held at the Foundling Museum in London on the 9th April 2014. It was a very proud moment for all of the 27 guides who qualified as they received their hard-earned Blue Badge from Yvonne Leach, President of the Institute of Tourist Guiding. It was a particularly proud moment for ‘Go Make It Happen’ because among the 27 were two of our own: Denisa, our first ever beneficiary ‘recruited’ two years ago, and Marina, our latest guiding beneficiary who won the Sam Harding Award for being the youngest guide to qualify.

Denisa and Marina

Denisa and Marina at the ceremony

GMIH is about youth and enthusiasm in the tourism profession, and we believe strongly that the most prestigious qualification for tourist guides should reflect the demographic profile of London itself: diversity and youth. We are very very proud of all our beneficiaries, not just our six tourist guides (pictured below) but all of our eleven young ambassadors for tourism in the UK and throughout the world. But Wednesday was Denisa’s and Marina’s night. Well done!


The future face of tourist guiding in London: BBTG beneficiaries, past present and future


Sam’s Jams and Chutneys


Meanwhile in sleepy Suffolk, something’s been bubbling in the kitchens of Pakefield. Sue Harding has been busy making Sam’s jams and chutneys. All different flavors are available from Mango to Kiwi. The jars have been flying off the shelves.

Sue is selling them throughout the local area and beyond with a number of loyal customers eagerly waiting the next batch. So far Sue has raised just over £1,000 which is a massive achievement, and great for the charity.

Looks like Sue’s husband Jim may have to come out of retirement to help with the packaging and delivering!

Officially a charity


GMIH is an officially registered charity and now recognised by JustGiving!

Go Make It Happen is now an officially registered charity (no. 1145369). More news to follow on what this means – but basically we can now get down to publicising and promoting, and looking for beneficiaries, not forgetting continued fund-raising (with the added benefits of charity status).

We have also had the excellent news that our JustGiving charity status has now been approved!

What this effectively means is that not only can we claim back Gift Aid on donations retrospectively, but going forward, fundraising will be more accessible and those partaking in charity events can link potential sponsors directly to their own JustGiving sponsorship page rather than having to collect money the traditional way!

To donate to GMIH – either a one-off donation or to set up a monthly payment – please visit the link below.

Maiden beneficiary



GMIH appoints maiden beneficiary!

Saturday 16th June

The Go Make It Happen project has come a long way in the last six months and in keeping with the tremendous progress made, we are delighted to announce that we have provisionally appointed our first beneficiary of the charity. Full details will follow shortly, with a page dedicated to following our first supported individual appearing soon!

This next phase of the project promises to be a different challenge entirely, but it is due to the huge fundraising efforts of all those involved that we have been able to realise the goal of supporting a young person in such a short space of time, so a huge thanks goes out to each and every one of the charity’s followers!


Ghost Bike



Ghost bike installation –        Sunday 11th December, Holloway Road

A group of about twenty of Sam’s friends assembled on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon to decorate a ‘ghost bike’ as a memorial to Sam at the site of the accident. It was a poignant and moving moment. A splash of brightness and colour.

Happy memories of a great guy, lost, like 16 others this year alone, to the madness of a road system that sacrifices cyclists and a government and a Mayor who seem not to care. Boris, you could at least reply to the letter we sent.