Live Free Fund Makes Life-Changing Experiences Possible

Four members of the WPR team will have life-enriching experiences in 2023 having won grants through the Live Free Fund, established in memory of cherished former colleague Zara Free. 

Created to honour Zara’s legacy and passion for life, the Live Free Fund enables WPR people to broaden their horizons, experience new things and grow as individuals.

Joe Legge, whose wife Cesia is from Mexico, will be embarking on an IGCSE in Spanish, setting him up for what he hopes will be a “lifelong endeavour” to “celebrate Cesia’s culture in her native language”.

He explained in his application: “Accurate concepts of Cesia’s culture barely exist in the UK. She is ‘other’ on most official forms, and so too is my daughter Anna. Being so far from home has made her miss and appreciate elements of Mexican life that she had previously taken for granted. I want to be able to read the Latin American authors she loves in the same versions as she did in Mexico. I want to be able to make Spanish part of my daily life so it can be part of Anna’s.”

After the sudden death of his best friend during lockdown, Nick Whittaker found two things that helped him get through a very difficult time: running and Calm. Inspired by one of the Calm app’s sleep stories – The Nordland Night Train by Erik Braa – Nick wants to experience this 10-hour train journey in Norway for himself. However, he doesn’t want to just take the trip, he wants to earn it. So, for every hour he will spend on the train, he will run 10 miles, covering 100 miles in a month and raising money for Winston’s Wish and Farleigh Hospice.

Georgie Butler will be flying to New Zealand to meet her best friend, then on to Australia to visit her cousin. Her application was inspired by her grandad, who passed away a few months ago and taught her that it matters not what you are doing, but who you are doing it with.  Georgie has said her trip will be “an incredible opportunity to create new memories and have shared experiences with two people close to my heart”.

Finally, Jayne Stanion is going to spend time at a Ben Bidwell retreat in Greece. Travelling abroad alone for the first time, Jayne will embrace the adventure, taking part in life-changing workshops and ‘magical heart-opening’ sessions she knows might be uncomfortable and emotional at times.

Zara’s family, who chose the winning submissions, were certain that Zara would have approved of the winning endeavours. From valuing the importance of family and time spent with loved ones to finding inner peace and being brave enough to step outside of your comfort zone, they capture different elements of Zara’s passions and approach to life.

WPR managing director Jane Ainsworth said: “Zara taught all of us who knew her so much about how to live life to the full. We wanted to keep that passion and thirst for experiences alive at WPR and the Live Free Fund aims to do just that.

“We, along with Zara’s family, were so impressed with the creativity and thought that had gone into this year’s submissions. It’s wonderful to be able to make such life-enriching ideas a reality and we can’t wait to see how Joe, Nick, Georgie and Jayne get on.”

This year’s awards follow the incredible stories of the first three recipients in the Live Free Fund’s inaugural year in 2021, whose experiences ranged from once-in-a-lifetime trips to a 200-hour yoga teaching course.