Trevor Thorn is a businessman and father of young magician Ashton who graduated from the Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy programme in 2016.
Trevor Thorn and his son Ashton
Trevor is the driving force behind an unprecedented fundraising campaign for Breathe which helped us bring Breathe Magic to Gloucestershire for the first time. We interviewed him to find out about his motivations and how he went about raising support for Breathe.
How did you first hear about Breathe Magic?
My wife Zoe found out about Breathe through Catherine Williams from Hands Up Occupational Therapy who had worked with Ashton previously.
What made you decide to support Breathe Magic?
Having had my son on the summer camp in 2016, we have first-hand experience in how it changed him as a person. Meeting other children with the same condition was a bit of a revelation. And the passion and commitment by staff and magicians was palpable really quickly.
As parents you develop a sixth sense for what is right for your child or what isn’t. We tried a different programme when Ashton was 5 years old and we knew quickly that it just wasn’t for him. We had to take him out after the first day.
The experience was very different with Breathe. I think the programme is exactly the right intervention for young children with hemiplegia. Ashton stayed the whole ten days and they really took roof off at the final show at the MAC in Birmingham (not an overstatement!) There, I started talking to Rebecca Johnson who is one of the Clinical Leads with Breathe. I found out that lots of children who need access to the programme have issues with finding funding. I had a real penny-dropping moment that made me want to change that. I mulled it over for a while and then last year during a Board meeting with the Federation of Master Builders Charity where I am a trustee I decided to pitch Breathe as the Charity of the Year. I got full support from all the trustees to fund a place for one child.
This year Ken Farnham, a fellow trustee, also pitched it to the Board and the Federation of Master Builders founded a second child. I took motivation from Ken and thought I’ll simply ask every business that have the means of funding to support a child to take part in Breathe Magic. And that’s what I did – I went to 12 companies and all 12 did not hesitate and each gave £2,550 each.
How did you convince your colleagues and business partners to get on board with the fundraising effort? What reasoning did you offer them?
I just showed them the video and I found that very effective, you know? It really gets everyone, every time. I explained that my son had been on the camp and there are many other children that will not be able to participate on the programme because of funding.
The real beauty of it all is that I never offered any of the companies that donated anything in return. No marketing, nothing. While they are being included in material like Facebook and your write ups I never promised them this while pitching the Magic programme. There was no ulterior agenda and I think that proves that there are many good people and businesses out there. I only happened to have found 12 of them.
Have you ever done a similar fundraiser before?
Yes, we did a bike ride for the Nigel Hunter nursery, where Ashton went as a baby. We raised around £2,800.00 then. But this time I was very driven and made it my personal mission to raise even more so that Breathe could come to our area.
Do you have a favourite magician or magic act?
Without a doubt my son Ashton!
Do you have personal motto or business principle?
Always tell the truth and be straight with people. In business be direct and don’t bend the truth.
Here is a list of all the supporting business. All here at Breathe are tremendously grateful to all of them!