Meet the Patron: Benjamin Lamping
Having fundraised for Salmon since 2014 in events including Tough Mudder, Spartan and the Big Half London marathon, Benjamin Lamping has now officially joined the Salmon family as a Patron, and is excited about making a difference in this role.
We caught up with Ben to find out more about him and why he’s chosen to commit to Salmon in this way…
Salmon: What were you like as a young person?
Ben: Looking back to my time as a teenager, I’d say (not proudly) that whilst I knew how to work hard, and showed promise in my studies, I was stubborn, rebellious and a disruptive influence at times.
I was popular, played in a number of sports teams, had a broad group of friends, but often found myself in trouble with teachers at school and my grades would suffer. It was only when I scraped into university that I committed myself to doing well and prioritising my studies over things that I simply liked to do.
I sometimes wish I could go back and have a conversation with my younger self, share with him the benefits of making a positive contribution, having strong values, working hard to succeed, respecting others (particularly my teachers). I’m sure that would have enabled me to achieve so much more.
Salmon: What’s your interest in youth work and young people?
Ben: I developed a strong desire to support young people after becoming a young father at the age of 19. It was certainly not what I had planned for that stage of my life, but the experience (and challenges that came with it) made me who I am today and helped me to realise that young people have an incredible potential that, from time to time, requires some encouragement and support from others to unlock.
In my work life, I’ve often found myself participating in or coordinating training schemes for new graduates because of my ability to connect with and help nurture the talents of new, enthusiastic young people who are just starting out in their career.
Salmon: What do you do in your day job?
Ben: I’m a director with an investment management firm in the City of London. In short, it is my job to understand the needs of people and businesses that have money to invest and then create financial products into which they can put their money (sometimes many millions of pounds). In essence, those people entrust us to look after their investments, keep them safe and help them to grow. I very much enjoy my work, but it can be very stressful and demanding.
Salmon: How did you get involved in this line of work?
Ben: I started my career as a solicitor for a law firm in the City, representing and advising firms like the one I work for today. After a time, I felt that it wasn’t the right career for me and I decided to take a chance and pursue a job outside the legal profession. It took me a few attempts to get it right, and I’ve certainly experienced a few highs and lows in my career (the worst, facing a shock redundancy from a bank), but having worked with a few financial firms, I now feel settled with the firm I work for today where I hope to pursue my career for a number of years.
Salmon: What drew you to Salmon as an organisation, initially?
Ben: My initial contact with Salmon came through the close friendship I have with Jamie Anglesea, Deputy Director. We’ve known each other for years, attend the same church, live locally to one another, and our families are close.
Back in 2014, Jamie asked if I’d like to help do some fundraising for the centre, and I was delighted to help. Having taken an interest in seeing how the funds we raised had made a difference, I was struck by the incredible work of the Centre, the passion and humility of the staff, the enthusiasm of volunteers and members, and the impact on the young people they serve day-in, day-out. I knew I would have to do more, become involved, play a part.
Salmon: What does being a patron mean to you?
Ben: It means a great deal. I was deeply honoured to have been invited to become a patron but I didn’t for one minute see it as a nice, privileged title to show what contribution I have made. Rather, I take it on as a responsibility to explore what kind of contribution I can make.
Attending the recent Salmon staff Away Day really opened my eyes to what Salmon are currently doing and where I can help out. It’s my hope that I can be a real ambassador for Salmon, building relationships between charity and the business world, raising the Centre’s profile, continuing to fundraise, but also spend time with the staff and young people, being involved and truly serving at every level.
I want to contribute valuable ideas; to see the work of Salmon expand to reach more young people, its financial position secured, its influence and place within the community grow. The church I attend has a mission statement to achieve social transformation, which is something I’m passionate about. It’s clear that Salmon are already doing just that locally, within the Bermondsey area, and I hope to play a meaningful part in continuing that work going forward.