Past and current members of the KM Charity Team have paid tribute to a naturalist and broadcaster who championed the organisation’s causes for more than a decade.
Professor David Bellamy, who died on Wednesday aged 86, was one of the organisation’s first honorary patrons.
KM Charity Team founder Simon Dolby enlisted him shortly setting up the charity to promote green travel at Kent schools in 2000.
With Professor Bellamy’s support, the charity was soon regularly signing up in excess of 30,000 families at more than 100 Kent schools to use its walk-to-school initiatives.
Mr Dolby, who now works at Streetspace, said: “It was such a shock to hear of his death. David was such a lovely man and so supportive of me and the charity in its early years.”
Former KM Charity Team trustee Teresa Curteis said: “David’s support of the charity inspired me so much in those early days.
“He gave me the confidence to believe what we were working to achieve could have the scale and impact we hoped for.”
As well as attending visits to Kent schools involved with the charity’s walk-to-school initiatives, Professor Bellamy was guest of honour at the KM Charity Team’s annual Walk to School Awards – the forerunner of its Green School Awards.
KM Charity Team acting general manager Karen Brinkman said: “We are so sad to hear of the passing of David Bellamy. Everyone at the KM Charity Team who was lucky to work with him has such fond memories of him.
“He cared so much about the environment and was a brilliant communicator, and children hung on his every word. He was just the perfect fit for the KM Charity Team.
“His support was absolutely central to our success, and we will always be grateful for what he did to promote our work and messages.”