My week: Clive Clifford

The chief executive of Over the Wall considers introducing children to a skunk and a tarantula.

Clive Clifford
Clive Clifford

Monday: I've got an early start - I have to get from Southampton to London to meet the London Street Fair Committee. Over the Wall is the chosen charity for this year's Walton Street Christmas Fair. They want to know whether we are in favour of having live reindeer and whether restrictions on foot-and-mouth disease will allow it.

Later, I catch a flight to Scotland, where we are running a series of outreach days in hospitals to give children and parents a taste of our Easter and summer camps.

Tuesday: Another early start. I meet my amazing operations team to set up an outreach day in Stirling Hospital children's ward.

Next, I head to Glenalmond College, whose residential facilities are used for our Scottish campers. The main school building has an uncanny resemblance to Hogwarts, the school for aspiring magicians in the Harry Potter books. The facilities are first class, so I book it for three weeks in 2008.

Wednesday: We've 'won' a Premiership player for the afternoon from the Premier League's Creating Chances initiative. Charities and community groups apply to win a visit from a footballer or a £2,000 donation. We have Reading and England left back Nicky Shorey coming to see us.

The Premier League has organised the PR, so we're joined by reporters from BBC South West, Sky and some local newspapers. Nicky is well received by the children and joins in the fun and games. They paint his face and the photographers seize a wonderful photo opportunity. The children are so enthused that someone like Nicky takes such an interest in them.

"You get a lot of stick as a footballer, but this is the other side of it that people don't always see," he tells me. "We do it because it's the right thing to do."

We invite Nicky to be an ambassador and he agrees.

Later, I get a call from the London Street Fair Committee. It wants to know if it should have a display of exotic reptiles, including a giant tarantula. Does our liability insurance cover someone being bitten?

Thursday: I'm in court. Not in the dock, but as a magistrate. I bemoan the fact that so many young offenders lack reading and writing abilities.

The London committee now wants to know about having exotic mammals on show at the fair, including a skunk. The thought of this escaping into crowds of shoppers is too much. Who said you should never work with children or animals?

- Over the Wall runs residential camps for children with life-threatening illnesses.

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