Friday, 31 January 2014

Reaching the highest heights

Many of you already know that Sorted editor Steve Legg is about to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. 

If all is going to plan, he should be on the plane right now, no doubt thinking about the mammoth task ahead of him (or sleeping with his mouth open like the rest of us). 

One thing I’ve learned from working about Steve is that he is very determined and that he doesn’t shout about his achievements, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do just that.

Not only is Steve a great husband to Bekah and a devoted father to six kids, he is a long-term Compassion supporter and ambassador. I know that he and Bekah sponsor four children and that Steve has visited at least one of them, demonstrating that he isn’t just putting his name to a charity or throwing money at it; he really cares.

Sorted and Liberti are now sponsoring a leadership development student, enabling young Kenyan woman Sylvia to attend university. “It's not just about enabling her to reach her full potential, although that would be reason enough, but she is committed to using her education to help others in her community and beyond,” explains Liberti editor Bekah. Steve will be spending some time in Kenya while he is in Africa and will meet Sylvia while he is there.

And it is children and young people like these that have inspired the Kilimanjaro climb. I know Steve plays badminton regularly, but I’m pretty sure he isn’t doing it for the exercise. Nevertheless, he has trained tirelessly so that he is in the best shape possible to get to the top. Despite the wet weather, he’s been out there exercising with the dog every day.

In his own words, Steve is climbing the Tanzanian mountain to “raise the profile of Compassion and see more children released from poverty”. He is dedicated to protecting his own and other children from the many dangers, difficulties and temptations out there.

In fact, this was one of the reasons why he set up Sorted magazine. He wanted his teenage son to be able to buy a lads’ mag that wasn’t just full of boobs, bums and ‘babes’. He wanted his son and other young men to recognise that women are human beings and that their value is not in the way they look. (Check out this great blog from Nate Pyle for more on this.) And he wanted his daughters to know that not all men objectify women and that they are precious regardless of the way they look (they’re all stunning anyway, so that’s never been an issue!).

Sorted is a great magazine, if I do say so myself, and with a print run of 40,000, its circulation has overtaken that of competitors such as Loaded. And it seems the public is responding positively to this shift. Supermarkets like The Co-operative have taken steps to stop saucy lads’ mags covers being on show on its shelves, while campaigns like Child Eyes and No More Page 3 are gathering momentum and have had a great impact over the last year or so.

So why am I telling you all this? Well firstly Steve is out of the country so he can’t stop me giving credit where it’s due! But I also want you to support him in a tangible way. Perhaps you can do one or more of the following:
  1. Pray. If you’re the praying type, pray for Steve while he’s away that he will be safe and that altitude sickness won’t stop him from getting to the top. And if you’re not the praying type, now’s a great time to start!
  2. Encourage him. I’m not sure how much internet access he’ll get while he’s there, but Steve loves his gadgets so I’m sure he’ll find a way of reading your posts and messages if you send them. It would be great for him to know that we’re thinking of him and supporting him (even if it’s from the comfort of our sofas!).
  3. Sponsor him. At the time of writing, Steve has raised £2616.25, which is tremendous. But this is still a little shy of his £3,500 target. It’s not just a case of him reaching the target though, it’s about supporting Compassion and the fantastic work the charity does.
  4. Sponsor a child. If you don’t already sponsor a child, this is a great thing to do. You could change a child’s current situation and entire future by doing so, as well as becoming involved in that child’s life and being able to help and encourage him or her. Compassion helps children in 26 countries and needs all the support you can give. To sponsor a child with Compassion, visit or call 01932 836490.
  5. Subscribe to Sorted. Steve has established an excellent magazine and doesn’t even take a salary from it, despite the time and effort that goes into it. He sends free copies to people in the armed forces, prisons and plenty of other places. And this magazine provides a valuable alternative to the typical lads’ mags out there. Slowly but surely people are moving away from the seedier magazines and Sorted has a part to play here. If you’re already a subscriber, spread the word! Visit your local WH Smith and make sure it’s on display. If not, ask if they will consider stocking it. The more people that ask the better.
Thanks for all your support!

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