Newsmaker: Goodbye to all that - Lloyd Scott - The charity world'smost intrepid fundraiser

Graham Willgoss

Wants to stop doing stunts and work in an office again.

There's more to Lloyd Scott than the deep-sea diver's suit. He's probably best known for stunts such as his completion of an underwater marathon in Loch Ness, but his exploits have also included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. "I'm not just a guy who puts on a silly costume to raise money," he says.

Scott's career in fundraising has taken him to seven continents and up four mountains, and has seen him raise nearly £5m for charity.

"It started when I ran the London Marathon three weeks before going into hospital for a bone marrow transplant," he says. "I wanted to show people that, despite having a life-threatening illness, you can make the most of any situation."

Scott was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia after inhaling toxic smoke while rescuing two boys from a house fire in Essex during his previous career as a fireman. Despite being given only a 10 per cent chance of survival, he completed a second marathon just 11 months after his transplant.

This, he says, was "to show people there is life after leukaemia".

"I'd been pensioned out of the fire brigade because of my ill health and I thought 'is somebody trying to tell me something?'" he says. "So I decided to go with it and see where it took me."

His career in charities started on the PR team of the Anthony Nolan Trust, which he describes as "the charity to which I owe my life, because it found me a bone marrow donor". But he wanted to do something more than his day job to raise both money and the trust's profile.

In the 14 years since, Scott has completed the Marathon des Sables, a gruelling 150-mile run across the Sahara desert, and made the expedition to both North and South Poles.

In pursuit of challenges with a more original angle that would catch press attention, Scott's endeavours became increasingly eccentric. He has cycled from Perth to Sydney on a penny farthing and driven from John O'Groats to Land's End in a car with four flat tyres dressed as a cross between Dick Dastardly and Toad of Toad Hall.

"There is more to it than meets the eye," he says. "Everything I've done has had to fit a particular brief. I have to research projects, present them, plan them, budget them, secure sponsorship and then organise the media. It's not just a case of turning up on the day - that bit's just an alter ego."

Scott left the Anthony Nolan Trust in 1997 to become head of marketing at Leukaemia Care. He spent a further three years at Clic Sargent, where he was project manager, then national project manager before becoming head of communications.

"Throughout my charity career I'd been working towards a senior position, or even towards heading a charity," he says. "But the opportunity to make a bigger impression with this intrepid fundraiser role - to raise funds and promote causes - presented itself, and the time felt right for it."

Since 2003, Scott has been a full-time fundraiser and independent consultant working with Children with Leukaemia. But now he believes the time is right to make the transition back to a more orthodox charity role - the first step in this direction will see him begin studying for an MBA in marketing in September.

"It's been a pleasant diversion, but I can't carry on doing it forever," he says. "I want to move into a position where I can call on all the experience that I've had and use it for the benefit of others without it taking such a toll on my body.

"I'd like to work in a medical or children's charity, return to an office environment and take on the management side of things. I'm not saying I'm not going to do the events any more, but I've got other qualities and experience that I'd like to use."

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