Jake Humphrey backs Norfolk charity

Jake Humphrey has spent the past two years jetting all over the world presenting the BBC's Formula One coverage, slotting in other major sporting events along the way, including the Commonwealth Games and tomorrow the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.

But he was back in Norwich this week fulfilling his role supporting the charity Break which supports vulnerable children and families, through a network of homes and support services.

'I really wanted to make a difference and actually do something practical to help, and specifically in Norfolk,' he says as he relaxes at Open in Norwich.

'It has been a couple of years since I started to get involved. My dad Rex was involved with Age Concern in Norfolk for years, so I asked him for advice. The first thing he said was Break without hesitation, which is good enough for me.

'I wanted to see what is going on, so I have been to one of their homes and today I have been chatting with the youngsters who go there. It is fantastic to hear first hand how much Break has helped them.

'They are so candid and open about what they have been through,' he says. 'In our family we have this saying roots and wings. If I do something exciting or challenging, mum and dad will send me a card saying 'roots and wings'. Essentially it means you have the wings to go off and have an adventure and challenge yourself, but you also have the roots to come home any time you need to, when you need support and help. Sadly these kids have the wings, they just don't have the roots.

'A lot of these people have been through so many terrible things and it says a lot about the work that Break do, when I sit and talk to them and find them secure and ambitious, and I hope, happier.'

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His aim is to use some of his sizeable clout to persuade local businesses to support the charity.

'I love Norfolk and anything I can do I will. I have told them to use and abuse me,' he laughs. 'It's about tough decisions for these charities. Do you say we can't provide respite care for these desperate families or do you say no trips or activities for the vulnerable children living in your care homes?

'This is an incredibly expensive business, but you can't make the same business decisions to cut costs as you would in a private company. That cannot be how it works.'

For more information about Break see www.break-charity.org