Live Free Fund
The winning recipients of WPR’s Live Free Fund have been announced, with two team members taking on very personal challenges this year.
Alex Dixon will be completing the Maui oceanfront half marathon, a dream that evolved after she surprised herself when, having tentatively got back into running following the birth of her daughter, she ended up completing two half marathons.
Previously opting for winter races because she hates running in the heat, Alex decided to push herself by tackling 13-miles somewhere hot. Making the Maui half marathon her goal, Alex realised she also wanted to do her bit to help the people of Maui following 2023’s devastating wildfires.
So, after the race, Alex will be volunteering with Maui United Way. The organisation says that volunteering in their community is the very definition of the word aloha, which means love, affection, peace, compassion. As Alex explained in her application: “This idea really stuck with me, and I’d love to be able to bring its meaning to life and make a difference with the Live Free Fund.”
Natalie Hunt is setting herself a different type of challenge: she will be relearning the piano, an instrument she loved during her childhood when she would play festive songs at Christmas. When Nat submitted her entry, her grandad was living with dementia and she had been reminiscing with him about his childhood. He told her about his time as an evacuee, when he would play songs at the piano to bring joy in such difficult times. His stories struck a chord with Nat, reminding her of when she used to play for her family as a child.
Inspired by the memory, Nat’s goal is to once again be able to play for her family this Christmas. Sadly, Nat’s grandad won’t be there to listen to her performance, but she intends to honour her beloved grandparents with a rendition of her nan’s favourite Nat King Cole song, Unforgettable.
Founded in 2021 in memory of cherished former colleague Zara Free, the Live Free Fund was conceived as a way of honouring Zara’s legacy, keeping a spirit of curiosity and zest for life flourishing at WPR by making it possible for team members have life-enriching experiences.
Each year, any member of the WPR team can apply and Zara’s family choose the winning entries, seeking the ideas that best capture Zara’s passion for new experiences, broadening horizons and growing as an individual.
In previous years, the Live Free Fund has enabled experiences as diverse as once-in-a-lifetime trips to Australia, Japan and Norway, a 200-hour yoga teaching course and a Spanish GCSE. Read the inspiring stories of previous recipients in our Live Free Fund blog.