Son taking on first Iron Man challenge for Norwood to honour late father who volunteered at the charity

28 September 2018

Steve Robertson, originally from Ruislip and now living in Somerset, is set to take on the Iron Man Triathlon in Barcelona on 7 October, raising money for Norwood, where his late father volunteered for two years before sadly passing away in March 2018.

Steve, 38, says his dad John spoke often of how Norwood “was close to his heart” and how much he loved his time volunteering with the Fundraising team at Broadway House in Stanmore.

“As Dad entered retirement he was keen to volunteer his years of business experience and in Norwood he found a most deserving of charities. Dad was an incredibly active and social man and always young at heart,” Steve explains.

“As much as the great work the charity does in the community, it was just being in the office with such great people he talked about the most. Dad loved to compete and having spent over 30 years as a Sales Director, I think it is fair to say that some habits are hard to shake off. He approached the job of promoting and selling Norwood with the same amount of dedication, enthusiasm and drive that he had in the corporate world. He treated it like any other job and could really use his skills to get stuck in.”

Melissa Klein, Philanthropy Lead at Norwood, who worked with John, remembers his “warm disposition, soft Scottish accent and impressive telephone manner”.

“John was dedicated to the cause and was brilliant at contacting companies to secure raffle and auction items for our events team,” she continues.

“He was very passionate about Norwood from day one and very soon had his family members donating Club Wembley tickets, fitness gadgets and more. He worked tirelessly every week and secured some stand out prizes including dinner at exclusive restaurants, high brand beauty and cosmetics, ladies’ high-end watches and so much more. It was a real honour to have worked with him and he is sorely missed by us all.”

Steven (right) and John at Principality Stadium Cardiff, Feb 2018

Steve’s involvement in the Barcelona Iron Man first came about at the turn of the year, when his friend Dan Denning and his wife Han surprised him on 4 January by telling him they’d entered him in the event in Barcelona in October. Even for Steve, who is a keen athlete, this came as something of a shock.

“I broke my neck playing rugby in 2008, so I’ve been getting my sporting fix and keeping fit in other ways since then,” Steve continues. “Taking part in an Iron Man is something that Dan and I had discussed previously, usually over a few beers, but I don’t think I’d ever seriously considered it. Suddenly I was given that push, and to be honest I think I was in denial about the whole thing until about eight weeks ago!”

So far Steve has raised £2,405 (£2,756 including Gift Aid) against a target (which he describes as an “absolute minimum”) of £3,000. Steve’s fundraising page can be found here.

Steve will be competing in the Barcelona Iron Man on 7 October.

Further information

For further information please contact Norwood press team:

By email: pressoffice@norwood.org.uk

By phone: 020 8420 6866 or 07736 458532

More images are available upon request

About Norwood Challenges

In 2017 Norwood celebrated 25 years of organising Challenges – from cycling in South Africa to trekking in Iceland. It was the first charity in the UK to introduce the charity cycle challenge and has been attracting participants to our rides and treks ever since.

Norwood has taken thousands of challenge participants all over the world, testing their levels of endurance to the limit, giving them the chance to achieve something spectacular, as well as making friendships and memories to last a lifetime.

The charity’s challenge participants, who range in age from 18 to 82, have been inspired to raise millions of pounds to support our work with thousands of vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and adults with learning disabilities every year.

Many have said that getting the chance to cycle alongside some of the people supported by Norwood made the experience even more memorable.

About Norwood

Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities and autism.

Founded in 1795, Norwood is one of the UK’s oldest charities and the only Jewish charity to enjoy the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen.

It helps children and adults to maximise their potential at home, at school and throughout their lives, through personalised services designed to enable choice.

Each year Norwood needs £35m to keep its services running, £12m of which comes through voluntary donations. These services include a total of 55 residential, supported living and family centres across London and the South East.

Norwood currently runs eight charity shops across North and East London thanks to the support of 150 dedicated volunteers.