Goodbye to Trustee and Treasurer, Gregor Michie

Towards the end of last year, it was with great sadness that we saw the passing of our much loved and respected Trustee, Gregor Michie. 

Our Trustees are the backbone of our organisation. Each Trustee plays a vital role and none more so than Gregor, our Treasurer. Over the last 5 years Gregor was the guardian of our finances, working closely with our senior management team to ensure that we are sustainable and are effectively managing our funds. More than that, Gregor was a source of support for the team, providing us with regular financial advice. He was also a valuable sounding board for our Founder and Director, Dan Charlish, with whom he worked closely. 

Dan first met Gregor on our annual fundraising event the Alpine Challenge in 2012. Gregor was a part of the Fools On The Hill team, who were competing to win the coveted Challenge trophy for most amount of kilometres skied across two days in Morzine, France. They might not have won the Challenge but typically of Gregor, they did win the Top Fundraisers award, raising an incredible £8,000 for our programme Snow Camp. 

Fools on the Hill

Gregor (far right) with team mates on the Alpine Challenge 2013.

Gregor and Dan got along well from the start and there was a mutual respect between the two. Gregor was impressed by Dan’s unwavering commitment and dedication to supporting young people in the UK through a sport that he was passionate about. Dan appreciated Gregor’s vast knowledge, his selfless generosity and his kind and humble nature. 

Alpine Challenge 2013 Group Photo

Back in 2008, when our previous Treasurer stepped down, Gregor was the natural replacement. With Gregor’s extensive experience, working across a range of roles in the City and as Chairman of the financial investment firm Octopus VCT3, Gregor had the skillset and passion we were looking for.

We spoke to Gregor last year about why he became a Trustee for Switch180 and he said: 

“I offered my services as a Trustee and Treasurer to Switch180 in 2013 after I participated in the Alpine Challenge, where I met some of the charity’s beneficiaries. The experience they had enjoyed clearly had a transforming effect on their outlook on life, each one of them expressing an ambition to make something of their lives. 

It has been a pleasure over the past five years to play a part in the growth of Switch180’s activities and the successful roll-out of their services in six regions as a Trustee. The enthusiasm and drive of Dan and his team is inspiring to those of us who support the work of the charity.” 

Gregor had known for a while that he was unwell but in typical fashion he did not want his work at the charity to lose momentum and he was involved in the process of recruiting our new Treasurer, Jo Brown, to the Board to ensure his high standards are maintained. 

Jo has many years’ experience working in the financial sector as a Financial Director and has a passion for skiing.  We know that she’ll continue Gregor’s work as Trustee with a robustness and vigour he would have been proud of. 

When reflecting on his relationship with Gregor, Dan Charlish said: 

“Gregor was a wonderful supporter and friend, both to me and to our charity and he played such a key role as our Treasurer over recent years, as the charity has grown. From the moment we met in 2013 on the slopes in France, his commitment to Switch180 and enthusiasm for our work with young people has been unwavering, and his contribution to ensuring the charity’s growth and sustainability has been so significant over the last 6 years. We are thankful to have been able to work closely with him and together to have been able to see the charity’s work growing successfully, something Gregor found very satisfying.

We will all miss him greatly, his compassion, sparkle and humour and, for me personally, his friendship, support and quietly delivered wisdom and advice that has helped guide our work over recent years. We will always remember him.”

The Chairman of our Trustees, Alan Grant added: 

“Gregor joined the charity as a Trustee in 2013 shortly after participating in our annual Alpine Challenge alongside John Holmes that winter. His prowess on the slopes was only eclipsed by that at the Board table where his canny Scottish wit marked him out as our future Treasurer. He immediately sought out what he needed to know and brought professionalism to our finance routine. But it was his inherent kindness, his enthusiasm for Switch180’s cause, his love of a good red wine and his sense of fun which we shall most cherish and miss. We are thankful that we knew him and shall remember him always.”

Gregor has supported a number of charities over the years and he had over £1000 saved in a CAF account ready to give to charitable organisations. Gregor’s family have kindly offered to donate this money to our programme Snow Camp. Gregor new how fortunate he was to be able to ski and experience the mountains each season. We know that he would be pleased to be providing the same opportunity to young people who would not have access to snowsports without this donation and his support. 

We would also like to name our annual London Youth Volunteer of the Year Award after Gregor. The newly named Gregor Michie Youth Volunteer Award will be awarded to one Snow Camp Youth Forum member each year from London who has volunteered the most amount of hours on our courses. As Gregor volunteered his time to Switch180, we thought that this award fits perfectly with his nature and character. 

Our thoughts continue to be with Gregor’s family and we hope that in some small way, this tribute to Gregor will highlight how he was loved and valued by his Switch180 family. Thank you Gregor and rest in peace.