“I’ve visited a few hospitals in Australia,” says Mark, “and it’s in those places that I’ve seen people who were much less fortunate than me. People for whom every day is a struggle. As I started to do well out of my own profession, it made me want to give something back and to help people back home. I don’t like to shout about it, but that’s my philosophy and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
The Mark Webber Foundation (MWF) was initially created to support the Mark Webber Challenge which began life in Mark’s second season of Formula One as a way for him to give back to his home country – something very important to Mark who felt his growing success and profile offered him the perfect opportunity to make a difference. It has supported various Australian charities over the years, including the Save the Tasmanian Devil Project, due to the Mark Webber Challenge’s close ties with the state of Tasmania.
As the MWF has evolved, it’s main objective now is to provide youth with the opportunity to live a more healthy, active and sustainable life, focussing especially on giving those less fortunate a chance in life that they otherwise wouldn’t have had and encouraging them to be valuable members of our communities.
Mark is a patron to the Aylesbury College Trust with aims to help put all students on a truly level playing field in assisting with their education
‘I’ve lived in this area in Bucks for a long time and I love to see youngsters fulfil their potential and achieve what’s possible for them as I’ve done in my career where discipline and advise along the way helped me. I would like to put something back in and together with the trust help youth in the local area to get a better bridge across to local employees and businesses to give them a chance that they might not have been able to get otherwise.
I look forward to have some interface with the youth and show them that it’s possible to achieve great things.’
Mark will be establishing an annual Mark Webber Youth Challenge for the young people of Buckinghamshire to draw inspiration from his world class success and our local globally recognised institutions of Stoke Mandeville and Silverstone, for them to compete in a unique challenge of teamwork, inclusion, determination and endurance.
‘Spinal cord injury changes lives in a second. It’s more than just being unable to walk. People suddenly need help with day-to-day tasks like showering, getting dressed and going to the toilet. The sad truth is that this tragic fate can happen to anyone.
Wings for Life fosters research that could benefit us all and I am proud to be an ambassador and help raise awareness for their great work.’