Rory, 28, has built a career in commercial property. Having previously developed restaurant and retail premises around London, he gave that all up so that he could dedicate his time and efforts to the Row for James campaign. Rory is the only one of the four rowers who had any previous experience of being in a rowing boat before the start of the campaign, but gave it up at school because he didn’t find it exciting enough!
Although Rory never knew James, Harry and his family have kept his memory alive to such an extent that he feels like he has always known him. Harry first asked him to become part of the Row for James team in a pub around midnight (which may have helped his decision!), however after learning exactly why Harry wanted to put a team together to row 3000 miles unaided across the Atlantic, he was totally committed. Rory is the type of person who, once he has made a decision doesn’t let it go; he puts all his energy into seeing it through, knowing that his effort could help James’ Place become a reality, and help kick the stigma of mental illness.
The most valuable piece of advice that Rory was given prior to the race was the importance of conversation and giving each other support when needed. Throughout the row there were many tough moments where he struggled to comprehend how life could get any harder, but knowing that he had three outlets that he could use was a constant source of strength. Knowing that there was a greater reason for the four boys being on the ocean, a bigger picture and a sense that the campaign was affecting so many people, his struggles soon become insignificant.
The charity has helped him understand mental health far more than he ever thought he would. Since finishing the row Rory has had so many connections with people who feel as though they can finally speak with him about their issues, and having seen first-hand the positive impact that this campaign is having on so many lives is something that he wants to continue to be involved with.
To read more about the Ambassadors, Trustees, and the Founders, please click here to visit the Meet the Team page.