Michael supports several causes that are close to his heart for many reasons and which he passionately believes in.
“I believe strongly in giving back to the community. We are all here together and it’s important to support each other.”
Michael is one of the Vice Presidents of Farms for City Children, a charity that offers urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside.
“Though I lived in the city of Exeter through my childhood,” says Michael, “the beautiful Devon countryside was never far away. I strongly believe that it is important for children to be able to experience the countryside and to see life on a real working farm. Not only is time spent on a farm therapeutic and calming, a true and sometimes life-changing release from the pressures of urban life, it also is an opportunity to teach where food comes from, and this is very important, too.”
Children’s writer Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children in 1974 at Nethercott, Devon. In addition to Nethercott, the charity now operates 2 additional working farms in Pembrokeshire and Gloucestershire.
Farms for City Children is an inspirational charity. It teaches children in a hands-on way where real food comes from and it connects them to the land, landscape and the value of the foods that we eat and enjoy.
The charity’s fundraising efforts help to subsidise the true cost of each child’s visit by one third as well as to look after the three historic farmhouses where the children stay. If you would like to donate or find out more visit farmsforcitychildren.org
One for the Boys, founded by Sofia Davis with Samuel L Jackson as its Chairman, is a charity that aims to raise awareness about cancers that affect men. It is a cause that Michael wholeheartedly supports: he cooked at the partnership dinner at Harrods to launch the campaign, and in 2014 prepared a fabulous meal in the Natural History Museum for the One for the Boys Fashion Ball.
“Cancer still strikes far too many, and there is less awareness than there should be about cancers that affect men. One for the Boys is a charity that I am proud to be involved with.”
The main mission of One for the Boys is simply to get men talking about cancer by removing the myths around it, and helping them to change their attitudes towards their health. This is achieved by educating men through awareness campaigns and live clinics to know the signs associated with cancer. This will encourage them to seek help and allow for the early detection that can save lives. www.onefortheboys.com
The Exeter Foundation is a ‘civic trust’ that was born out of the desire of the Exeter Chiefs rugby and a group of Exeter businessmen to create a focus for the future of the city and its surroundings, for the benefit of all citizens.
“As a proud Exonian, I am delighted to support the Exeter Chiefs Exeter Foundation. The Chiefs have not only brought world class sport to Exeter, the Foundation also gives us a sense civic pride and a collective determination to make our city a better place.”
The Exeter Foundation mission is to provide the City of Exeter and its surrounding areas with a ‘Civic Trust’ to grasp responsibility for the advancement of Greater Exeter, and to pursue the vision of people who live, work and run businesses in Exeter and the surrounding areas. The Foundation acts as a fundraising body with a commitment to the future prosperity of Greater Exeter, and also as a vehicle for promoting collective civic pride.
To this end, each year the Exeter Foundation selects a number of designated charities that it supports. Since inception, the charity has raised nearly £2m and helped over 120 projects, charities and organisations .
To support the Exeter Foundation or for further information visit www.exeterfoundation.org.uk
The Calvert Trust Exmoor enables people with physical, learning, behavioural and sensory disabilities to experience exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activities. The Calvert Trust is able to offer a range of experiences, breaks and holidays for families, groups, schools and individuals.
“I strongly believe that everyone with disabilities of any sort has the full right to experience and enjoy life to the fullest. The Calvert Trust empowers individuals and their families to achieve and enjoy, helping to build confidence, learn new skills, gain new independence, and make new friends.”
Each visit provides the opportunity to try something new in a safe and caring environment. By pushing these boundaries with the support of instructors, visitors feel more comfortable about trying new things at home. The benefits and enjoyment of the activities will be offered to all, irrespective of ability. They can provide enrichment of life through adventure and personal achievement, rehabilitation leading to integration and the simple opportunity to enjoy nature and the countryside.
Find out more: www.calvert-trust.org.uk
Children and adults with Down Syndrome are all unique individuals with their own personalities, family backgrounds and preferences that make them who they are. The Down Syndrome Association has over the past 50 years made amazing strides forward to help individuals and families to live, thrive and surpass their expectations. Both the International charity and the association are committed to improving quality of life for people with Down syndrome, promoting their right to be included on a full and equal basis with others. Their work extends to employment and education support and guidlines through to early developement and parental support. Both charities, Michael is proud to support and help raise awareness.
“It is a joy to hear and celebrate the stories of people who have overcome adversity, as well as to celebrate the achievements of this dynamic charity.”
Find out more: Down Syndrome International
Find out more: Down Syndrome Association
InFocus is the vision impairment & complex needs charity and has been based in Exeter for over 180 years. Everyone at InFocus fights to make sure that children and young adults with vision impairment and complex needs don’t get left behind by society.
The children and young adults that InFocus supports can face huge barriers to learning, living and taking an active, independent place in their communities.
Some arrive at InFocus unable to use their voice, or unable to express simple choices like yes and no. They may need specialist equipment like a wheelchair or powered hoist just to enable them to explore their world. Others don’t have the mobility skills to be independent in their community and do simple things like take a bus to the shops or visit friends.
These inspirational young people see the world differently, and sometimes hardly at all, but could use what vision they do have more effectively with the right specialist input.
InFocus provides education, care and support services to inspire, challenge and empower these amazing children and young adults to live their best lives.
Find out more: InFocus Charity