Life-Enhancing Experiences Celebrating a Life Well Lived

Three WPR team members will be undertaking life-enhancing experiences in 2022, made possible through the Live Free Fund, established in memory of cherished former colleague Zara Free.

Honouring Zara’s legacy and passion for living life to the full, the Live Free Fund was created to enable WPR people to broaden their horizons, experience new things and grow as individuals. In its inaugural year, the three successful applications – chosen by Zara’s family – span once-in-a-lifetime trips with deeply personal meanings and learning valuable new skills.

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Andy Gorman, senior PPC manager, will be travelling to Japan, where he’ll complete a sponsored climb of Mount Fuji in memory of his mother.

A decade ago, Andy’s plans to move to Japan to work as an English teacher were put permanently on hold when his mother was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Andy chose to stay with his family and his life went in a different direction.

In her final months, Andy’s mother greatly appreciated the service provided by Macmillan Cancer Support, and Andy now wants to make this significant trip to raise funds for that important cause.

His trip will also be the realisation of a long-held dream, a tribute to the path not taken previously, and will honour the memories of both Zara and Andy’s mother.

Zara’s family said: “Zara would love this entry and really appreciate the sacrifice Andy made to be with his mother when it mattered most. She would also love that he was still determined to pursue his dreams and would definitely want to support him in this incredible adventure.”

Having discovered the benefits of yoga for her own wellbeing during the pandemic, Beth Hendley, PR director, will be undertaking a 200-hour yoga teaching course in memory of Zara.

Beth hopes to empower ordinary people to take up their own version of yoga, and plans to volunteer in the community to introduce disadvantaged children to techniques that can help them day-to-day.

Zara’s family loved this entry, not least because Zara used yoga as a way to relieve her pain and calm her mind after her cancer diagnosis. Above all, they commended Beth for her commitment to using her learnings to help children, and were pleased that WPR’s investment would make a positive impact in the local community.

Finally, Jade Mansell, senior client services director, will be pushing herself out of her comfort zone on a trip to Australia, where she’ll do a sky dive in Zara’s memory, raising funds for the charities which supported her when she needed them most. In her entry, Jade described Zara’s motto as, like Leo from Titanic, “Life is a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it.”

Following in her friend’s footsteps, Jade is terrified and exhilarated at the prospect of a sky dive but intends to seize the moment and try things she’s never even considered before.

Zara loved Australia and her family felt she would wholly support someone visiting this fascinating country but, most importantly, they agreed others should benefit from Jade’s bravery and WPR’s financial support, and look forward to seeing how much Jade raises for some incredible causes.

WPR managing director Jane Ainsworth said: “Zara’s zest for life left a lasting impression on all who knew her. The Live Free Fund aims to keep that spirit of creativity, curiosity and thirst for new opportunities alive in WPR.

“Along with Zara’s family, we all agreed the winning entries embraced a sense of adventure, personal growth and desire to make a difference which would have won Zara’s seal of approval. We can’t wait see how Andy, Beth and Jade get on next year and to hear about their experiences.”