Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir, India, on 1st May 1946. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and she spent most of her early childhood in the Far East where her father was posted.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE
Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been hailed as ‘The World’s Greatest Living Explorer’ by the Guinness Book of Records.
Born in the UK in 1944, just after his father was killed in the war, Sir Ranulph was brought up in South Africa but studied in England. He joined the Royal Scots Greys and later the SAS. As the youngest Captain in the British Army, he fought Marxist terrorists and received the Sultan of Oman’s Bravery Medal from HM the Queen.
His many achievements include being the first to reach both Poles, the first to cross both the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis, leading the first hovercraft expedition up the longest river in the world (the Nile) in 1968/1969, completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent – the longest unsupported polar journey in history, the first 7x7x7 (seven marathons in only seven days on all seven continents) and in 2009 he successfully summited Everest, becoming the oldest Briton to do so.
Photograph courtesy of Don Lambert
Bear Grylls has become known around the world as one of the most recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure. His journey to this acclaim started in the UK on the Isle of Wight, where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Bear went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, serving with 21 SAS. It was here that he perfected many of the skills that his fans all over the world enjoy watching him pit against nature. Despite a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa, where he broke his back in three places, and after enduring months in military rehabilitation, Bear went on to become one of the youngest ever climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
He says: ”When I left the Armed Forces I knew that I still had a huge amount to give, and I expect the same is also true for most police officers, firefighters, paramedics and others who have served in uniform. Harnessing their energy and skills to inspire young and unemployed people to help their communities is a fantastic idea and one that I fully support. I am really excited to be an Ambassador for SERVE ON and I hope that you will get involved in any way you can.’
Chris Moon MBE
Chris Moon is a former Army officer who worked for a charity specialising in clearing land mines and the debris of war in Asia and Africa. He is one of the few westerners to have survived kidnap in Cambodia by Khmer Rouge guerrillas, negotiating not only his own release but also that of his two Khmer staff after an ordeal of threatened execution in which he never assumed the role of victim.
In 1995 in Mozambique he was blown up walking in a cleared area resulting in the loss of his lower right arm and leg. He survived through sheer determination and fitness. Less than a year after leaving hospital he completed the London Marathon and subsequently many of the toughest ultra marathons in the world to support charities assisting the disabled.
Chris Moon is the first amputee to finish the Great Sahara Run and the Badwater 135 mile Death Valley Ultra (5 marathons back to back), which takes place in temperatures close to those recommended for slow cooking chicken. His methods for transforming adversity and disadvantage into challenge and achievement and going the extra mile are relevant to us all. He believes we can all go one step beyond our limits and challenge our own concept of limitation.
Simon founded Serve On in 2013 with the mission to bring purpose to the potential of people from all walks of life, building teams to serve communities at home and abroad. He has been instrumental in shaping our strategy and continues to find opportunities to help Serve On to grow and flourish. Simon has been a soldier, an entrepreneur, a visionary and a social entrepreneur. He served in the British Army as an Officer in the Light Dragoons. His business career started in the restaurant business in which he worked for 7 years culminating in the acquisition of the Pierre Victoire restaurant group after a complex management buyout. Helping to transform lives by helping people to discover and fulfil their potential to be the change in the world has since become his passion. He established a charity, Believe, whose mission was to inspire change amongst the socially excluded - including young and adult offenders. The charity pioneered the use of coaching and mentoring in prisons. He was the co-founder and first CEO of the Mowgli Foundation, an international charity providing mentoring for young entrepreneurs, the drivers of business growth, in the Middle East and North Africa. He is non-executive Chairman of Friska, a rapidly growing restaurant group pioneering healthy locally produced fast food and non executive director of Chomp an innovative burger business. He is a board member of Bristol Together, which specialises in creating jobs for homeless and ex offenders in rebuilding derelict properties. He is a board member of Urban Pursuit, which aims to create new opportunities on the point of exclusion from school. He has recently published a book commissioned by the Diocese of Bath & Wells – Be – A Disciple’s Journey – to inspire leadership and social justice from within the Church. He has worked extensively with Help for Heroes to design and establish the Pathfinder programme to support the transition of wounded soldiers back into civilian life. He has also worked with Help for Heroes and the Institute of Leadership & Management to create an internal coaching programme to train veterans to be coaches and to transform the internal culture. As a result of his pioneering work with wounded, injured and sick veterans, Simon has been awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study Military Mental Health and PTSD in the US and Australia in 2016. As a member of the UK Centre for Social Justice’s reports Breakdown/Breakthrough Britain and Locked Up Potential led by Jonathan Aitken, he was able to use his experience of working with the socially disengaged to contribute to reports which have influenced government policy. Simon is married, has four daughters and lives in Bath. He is a regular public speaker and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He is a highly experienced facilitator, coach and mentor working with a wide range of client groups.
After working in the hospitality trade and playing Rugby Union for his home team, Peter was looking for something more to challenge himself, physically and mentally, so joined the Royal Marines Commandos.
He spent five rewarding years with them but, on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, his life changed when the vehicle that he was in was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). The impact killed one comrade and left another with numerous body burns. Peter lost both legs and suffered many other injuries including a fractured spine and a punctured lung.
Whilst going through rehabilitation, Peter learned how to ski and joined the British Disabled Ski Team, but after several seasons with the team, winning multiple medals, Peter had to retire due to a shoulder injury and he found himself at his lowest ebb.
Not only had he lost the military career that he so loved, he now had no ski career to soften the blow. It was at this point that Peter enrolled on a Pathfinder course being run by one of the many service charities and heard about Serve On.
He was unsure at first about joining up due to his disabilities, but he has not looked back since that first training weekend, having become the charity's first double amputee search and rescue volunteer.
As well as his roles as a fully-qualified IRT member, an ambassador for Serve On and the members' representative, Peter is also an ambassador for Help for Heroes and a governor at his daughter's school. Peter is married with two kids and is looking forward to the opportunity to put his IRT skills to use when a disaster strikes.