My Tabard From The Front

I have a couple of exciting developments to tell you about but before I start I would like to take this opportunity to give a final reminder to all those who were sponsoring me on the old Kingdom Bank account to stop that standing order because I am closing that account this month. Then please start a new one for just £1 per month with my new and much easier to access for all Royal Bank of Scotland account. Clearly, if you wanted to sponsor me for more than just £1 per month I would be delighted, but please do not feel that you have to.

There are one billion 500 million people whose very lives are at risk from climate change related natural disaster and as climate change starts to bite even harder this figure stands to get even worse.

There are 65 million active current accounts in the UK. If I can encourage just 1% to challenge me to beat my beast of neurological dysfunction which is thought impossible, try to prevent my brain tumour from ever returning as predicted, and if it does to defy all odds and beat it back again, with just £1 per month, then I can raise £650,000 per month for the Disasters Emergency Committee. This money could help build up the DEC war chest so that when the next disaster happens, as it surely will, the DEC can launch into an emergency response immediately while they wait for the tremendous public response to their appeal to come flooding in to sustain them in the life saving operations, and into the community re-building phase. As I am locked in a vicious, perpetual, cyclic battle with the brain tumour that can only ever end in one way, my challenge is a lifetime ambition so I will continue to try to restock the DEC war chest, after each and every disaster, to help save lives and improve life chances for as long as ever I can.

I have an awfully long way to go to reach that 1% and each of you reading this is just a fraction of that 1% but when combined with your friends, family and work colleagues, that fraction increases in size so do please consider sponsoring me for just £1 per month and then encouraging your friends and family to do the same.
You can easily sponsor me electronically over your internet banking account with the following details:
Payee Name: Beat the Beast Challenge

Account Number: 15978839

Sort Code: 83-24-18

Bank address:
Royal Bank of Scotland
Edinburgh Leith Branch
2 Bernard Street

Payee Reference: Your name, Yes (If you are happy for me to list you on the website as a sponsor without revealing the amount that you sponsor. Should you not wish me to do so please write No after your name)

e.g. Archie Douglas Yes (If happy to be listed as a sponsor on the website without sponsorship amount being revealed)


e.g. Archie Douglas No (If not happy to be listed as a sponsor on the website)

All I ask you to sponsor me for is just £1 per month but if you would like to sponsor me for more then do please do so. I would of course be delighted to receive more for the DEC, but all I ask is just £1 per month each, so please do not feel under any pressure to sponsor me for any more.

My Tabard from Behind

While money begets more money, sponsors also beget more sponsors so if you are willing to let me list your name as a sponsor on my website, please annotate as such with your name followed by the word yes. If you do not wish me to list your name as a sponsor then please annotate with the word ‘No’ after your name.

I will never reveal the amount you sponsor me for. We will all just presume that it is £1 per month, but I would just like to encourage sponsorship from other sponsors by letting them see that real people rather than anonymous donors are sponsoring me in increasing numbers so that they will be encouraged to sponsor me too.

Alternatively you could fill in the standing order form that can be found at the following link and return it to your branch of your bank at the address that can be found in your cheque book:

  • I guarantee that every penny raised will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee.
  • I guarantee that I will never call, email or contact you in any way to ask you to increase your sponsorship.
  • I guarantee that I will not pass your details on to anyone else as I do not hold your details. The standing order is a private and confidential agreement between your bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)

This is the first exciting development. After exhaustive form-filling and detailed investigation by the Charities Aid Foundation I have been awarded a beneficiary number so can now process CAF vouchers through the challenge for the Disasters Emergency Committee and have just posted two vouchers to CAF for processing and payment to the challenge account totalling a wonderful £1000 that will of course go to the Disasters Emergency Committee once I receive it. So if you hold a CAF account and would like to donate more to the DEC through the challenge on top of your £1 per month, I receive great encouragement to keep fighting from that and guarantee you that every single penny goes to the DEC.


The Future Nation Foundation (FNF)

This is the second exciting development. On leaving the Army in December 2012 I was asked to look at the problem of reoffending rates in our disadvantaged and disengaged young people by a wonderful woman who subsequently became my friend and mentor, Heather MacLeod. After 6 months exhaustive research involving so very many highly emotional interviews with parents , aunties, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends and the young offenders themselves, which often ended in tearful pleas thanking me for my efforts and begging me to make something work, in a classic eureka moment in the bath I finally stumbled over the solution to the problem that had not improved nationally by less than a quarter of 1% for some generations despite the millions invested in the problem. The solution was one of time which I will explain in detail one day but importantly I then devised a plan for a foundation that could remove that element of chance that too often permeated the lives and life chances of our young disadvantaged and disengaged young people. I was just edging to the point at which I was securing funding for a pilot from the Scottish Government for a pilot to be run out of the Polmont Young Offenders Institution when I was diagnosed with my brain tumour and, as the scale of my tragedy started to unfold and my neurological and cognitive ability start to unravel, I had to withdraw as CEO of the Future Nation Foundation and another took my place. Shortly afterwards FNF ceased operation.

My Tabard Up Close
My Tabard

The great news is that while I am in no fit state to run the Future Nation Foundation as the CEO, I can walk and talk so can chair the FNF in support to the CEO, with my hand firmly on the tiller, towards success which can see the lives of thousands of disadvantaged, disengaged young people turned around to become real assets to themselves and the nation. Once we were sure that I could at least sustain myself for a meeting with a member of the Scottish Parliament after a good rest beforehand Heather arranged a meeting in which I was to present my plans for the FNF. It took me two weeks of working in 45 minute chunks between rests and short walks to refresh my original presentation and in so doing discovered that over the last 7 years the Scottish government had indeed managed to reduce the problem of reoffending by a magnificent 4%. However 8.4% remained a nut too hard to crack and in need of the FNF. Despite having to start the meeting with an introduction to my background, the reason for my brain damage and therefore the reason why I needed this MSP to speak slowly and louder than normal to allow me to keep up with, hear and understand him, and to only ask me one question at a time while giving me time to answer it, just to be gentle with me, before then informing him that I was seeking funding not for me to run the pilot, but for a handpicked CEO to come and run the pilot and FNF as it expands, my presentation was received remarkably well. He stretched his diary to give me more time and I have been asked to return with my financial plan for FNF. I was exhausted at the end of the meeting which reminded me why it was that I really could not be the CEO for FNF no matter how much I wanted to, and reminded me why I really am not yet fit enough to be able to sustain myself in employment . Just writing this post on the computer exhausts me, blowing a thick fog into my brain while blurring my vision, slowing and slurring my speech and robbing me of my balance, but if I can take my time to get the financials refreshed and correct and acceptable, I truly can then start to play a part in saving lives and improving the life chances of our vulnerable young people here in the UK by setting the conditions that sees a pilot for FNF with the right CEO in place funded while continuing to try to save the lives and life chances of those caught up the ravages of disaster through my fundraising efforts for the DEC.

One of the things that I have realised that I need to do is to make my efforts for the DEC more visible. So on every run, walk, cycle, golf and food shop I will be wearing my tabard which I recently had made for me and which has already encouraged people to ask me questions and take away a business card with the challenge account details on them and a promise to sponsor me. Even while on the bicycle I have had a lady on a bicycle that I overtook on a cycle path call after me and ask me to stop to ask me a question before taking a card with a promise to sponsor me. When picking up a decaf coconut milk mocha to fuel me for my food shop and the ride back home I had two ladies ask me questions and take away cards with a promise to sponsor me and one of the baristas has already confirmed his sponsorship and so on. So after one week of wearing them I have secured around a half dozen additional confirmed sponsors and promises of more. I have committed my 35 minute monologue that tells my story to memory and am seeking funding through the DEC to have it filmed and produced professionally through the DEC. I plan to use pictures and film more frequently in the hope that I can start to generate a little more interest in the challenge so that whenever I walk out the door with the tabard on I will be recognisable and people feel more confident to step forward and ask me a question, take a card and sponsor me.

I have an awfully long way to go achieve the 1% of the 65 million active current account holders and I have a serious uphill battle to get there while fighting each and every day to try to prevent my brain tumour from ever returning despite predictions and to recover my neurological and cognitive function to a stage at which I can sustain myself in employment despite predictions. So anything that you can do to help me achieve my goal would of course be very much appreciated.
I now have a log in to the website, so have started to update the number boxes on the home page of the website, so it is now very much a live and current website. You can now watch the miles covered, the height climbed, money raised, and number of confirmed sponsors clock up hour by hour, day by day, week by week, so what you see on the website now is live and as current as you can possibly get.

May you be blessed with health, happiness and success. Please challenge me and bless those caught up in disaster with your sponsorship for the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Thank you

Yours aye