history of the trust

2004 – 2013

Hazel’s Footprints Trust was established in November 2004 by her family who, with the encouragement of all her young friends, determined to continue Hazel’s charitable work.

In its first years the Trust established itself very much as Hazel would have liked – full of energy and optimism. Hugely successful fundraising events were held – the two most notable in the first year were an auction night and an assent of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, both of which helped to establish the Trust on a firm financial footing.

There was much more fundraising too. Pupils from Hazel’s old school sent donations, students from Durham held a Hatfield vs Castle day of sporting rivalry. Events were held locally in the Boarders in Scotland and, in 2005, the very first group of Footprinters were chosen – all of whom were going off to volunteer on educational projects around the world.

In the autumn of 2005, Hazel’s gap-year journal, A Gap in the Life, was published and in a reminder of her other artistic exploits the Hatfield Lions Theatre Company – from whom Hazel had directed a successful play – sent a generous donation from their 2006 performances.

And the fundraising kept coming. Three cars (and two trustees) set off on the Mongol Rally in 2006, there was an East Lothian football match in 2007 One of Hazel’s mountain climbing friend Jill Elliot completed a testing sponsored walk, a bride and groom donated the cost of their wedding car to the Trust, one intrepid explorer cycled from Northampton to Cape Town and two others hiked to Everest Base Camp.

Following the migration of many of Hazel’s friends to London, HFT London was established in 2008 to continue fundraising efforts in the capital. Their greatest (and lasting achievement) has been the HFT Highland Fling, which is now into its fifth year, taking place at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham.

Meanwhile, in 2010, a grand expedition was planned by the Trustees to hike through a secluded region of Nepal and on to Everest Base Camp – matching the achievement of the earlier fundraisers. The trip proved just as successful as the earlier Kilimanjaro challenge, and once again was something that Hazel would have heartily approved of.

All the time the Trust had been sending Footprinters to all corners of the globe. If you want to explore some of the places that we’ve visited you can look at our world map, or to see some of our successes –  have a look at this infographic.

And, of course, if you’ve got an idea for some fundraising (remember everything raised goes to support the Trust’s three aims), or you are tempted to apply to be a Footprinter- do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.