Father sets up travel charity after son’s death

Father sets up travel charity after son’s death

A charity has been set up to help people in their 20s launch careers in travel by the father of a Voyage Privé employee killed in a cycling accident last year.

Keith Harding was inspired to create Go Make It Happen, which gained charitable status last month, after the death of his son Sam, 25, last August.

Sam had just been given a permanent role on the data loading team at online travel deals firm Voyage Privé and was involved in writing content for the website. He had told his father it was his “dream job”.

He died instantly when he was hit by a bus after trying to avoid a parked car’s open door.

Keith is a retired teacher of English as a foreign language and is a London Blue Badge tourist guide. Sam’s mother, Jenny, who was also a London Blue Badge tourist guide, died of cancer in 1999.

Keith said channelling his energy into the charity had helped him overcome his grief. “I wanted to focus on something positive and getting our sector seen in professional terms. The charity has been inspired partly by the spirit of Sam and also the incredible energy and potential of his friends.

“We ignore people with great potential at our peril and often they don’t get on in their career because they don’t get the support they need.”

He added: “I don’t want to finance gap years for rich kids. The demographics we are aiming at are not high-flyers. Sam didn’t go to university but he was a bright person and had a Btec in leisure and tourism.”

The charity aims to help a range of young people who need financial support, advice or training to get on the first rung of the ladder in a travel or tourism-related profession, from taking a course to teaching English abroad to becoming a rep or travel agent.

The charity, which is keen to secure travel partners, has so far raised £13,000. To donate or find out more, go to gomakeithappen.co.uk.


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