Lady Grantchester, Betty Suenson-Taylor, is the head of the Moores family and the daughter of Sir John Moores, founder of the Liverpool-based Littlewoods football pools and retailing businesses. She married Kenneth Bent Suenson-Taylor, 2nd Baron Grantchester on 12 April 1947. As a result of her marriage, Betty Moores was styled as Baroness Grantchester on 2 July 1976.
She was director of Littlewoods between 1977 and 1997 and is credited with steering the company back on to an even keel after a turbulent late 1980s and early 1990s.
Lady Grantchester is one of the three original founders of the National Rotary KidsOut Day. Along with Rotarians Peter Jarvis and Graham Child, she recommended taking children with disabilities out on a fun day. The first day was so successful that she then offered a one off grant to Rotary clubs to take part the successive year. Read more in our history.
Colin Bryan was born in London in 1948, and was brought up in the world of the theme park industry. He took the reigns of Drayton Manor Theme Park as Managing Director in 1973, with his mother Vera Bryan retaining a prominent position.
He has personally built rides and attractions at the park with his bare hands, such as Shockwave, Apocalypse, Stormforce 10 and Thomas Land, which have helped the park gain recognition, and become the fifth most visited theme park in the United Kingdom. The family has ploughed more than £30m in the park, with a new ride or attraction added every year.
“Some of the children we welcome on the National Day Out are so helpless, they don’t have any chance. My father was very much in favour of giving them this fun day out, and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to carry it on with help from everyone here.”
John came to the world’s attention in January 1991, when as a POW in Gulf War I, his bruised and battered face flashed onto television screens around the world. He has written two best-selling books on his experiences and the documentary, ‘Tornado Down’ was Independent Documentary of the Year and a BAFTA Award Nominee. He has extensive international TV, radio, PR and media experience and has built up an international speaking reputation.
During his RAF career, he flew Tornado GR1 on various squadrons and whilst in MOD he developed and delivered programmes on leadership, safety and human error in aviation. Using this experience, he runs a business consultancy as an executive coach and development consultant focusing on leadership, strategy and change. A past Chair of the International Management Board of the Association of MBAs, he is a governor of Worcester Royal Grammar School and member of the Institute of Directors and The Royal Aeronautical Society.
Vicky Thornley is an Olympic silver medalist and one of Britain’s most prominent athletes. Vicky came to prominence through the GB Rowing Team Start programme, becoming a leading British sculler.
A former equestrian rider and model, Vicky has competed at both London’s 2012 Olympics and 2016’s games in Rio. Her most recent Olympic outing saw Vicky win a silver medal alongside Katherine Grainger in the women’s double scull.
Vicky also has her own website where she shares updates about her athletic journey as well as recipes, training tips and videos.
KidsOut is humbled to have the support from one of the nation’s most successful athletes.
John Parrott - Northwest
John Parrott is one of snooker’s greats, spending fourteen consecutive years in the world’s top sixteen, eleven of them in the top six and being ranked world number two for three years. John is seventh in the all-time list of ranking tournament winners, being one of only five players to hold both the World and UK Championships in the same calendar year. He was awarded an MBE in 1996 and now works regularly as a TV presenter and pundit as part of the BBC snooker and racing teams’.
John is no stranger to KidsOut, previously hosting Question of Sport events all over the UK and being the voice of the KidsOut BBC Radio 4 appeal.
KidsOut is delighted to have such a well-known sporting celebrity as a patron.
Gordon Smith - Scotland
Gordon Smith was a professional footballer for 18 years having played at the top level infour countries – Scotland, England, Austria and Switzerland. He was a treble winner in his first season with Rangers, scoring 27 goals from midfield. He was voted into the best 100 Rangers players of all time in 2001. After retiring, Gordon has been an independent Financial Adviser, a Players Agent, Assistant Manager of St Mirren, Director of Football at Rangers and Chief Executive of The SFA. He is best known for his media work over the last 25 years having been a guest analyst for Sky TV, BBC Scotland, ESPN, STV and now PLZ Soccer. He has always been heavily involved in the charity world and gave all the royalties from his autobiography to the Variety Club Scotland. He is delighted to be a Patron for KidsOut.
Leigh Bromby - Northeast
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