Supporting Others

ELIFAR Foundation

The name ELIFAR stands for Every Life Is For A Reason, a philosophy which serves to remind us all that everyone deserves to enjoy the minimum standards of comfort and happiness in life, though for those with severe disability these are often not easily achieved. 

Balmain is an ongoing supporter of ELIFAR and since 2003 has raised significant sums to enable ELIFAR to continue its work to help disabled children.

For more information on ELIFAR’s activities click here.


St Patrick’s Foundation (Fundacja im. św. Patryka FISP)

FISP provides financial support for a variety of needy causes in Poland with funding centrally derived from the St Patrick’s Charity Ball and the Ball’s sponsors.

FISP disperses funds raised at the Ball by providing financial support to registered Polish charities who provide care and shelter for the less well off, to buy specialised equipment, to fund training and capital projects, and to ease the burden on carers who have dedicated their lives to helping others.


James Ketchell

Balmain first met James just after he had completed a heroic, solo Transatlantic rowing race to raise money for various charities.  When James decided to climb Mount Everest in 2011 as a charity fundraising activity, Balmain came on board to help his successful ascent of the world’s tallest mountain.  Having rowed the Atlantic single-handed and climbed Everest in one year makes this young man an inspiration to us all.


James Ketchell’s website:

James Ketchell on Twitter:


A Serial Traveller Sets Off Again On A Journey To Help People In Need

James Ketchell, a tireless adventure hunter, is starting his next expedition on the 8th May. This time the traveller will face the challenge of crossing the Indian Ocean in a boat within less than 85 days. For the first time his friend Ashley Wilson, who suffers from epilepsy, will help him to beat the record of human capabilities. The conquerors, apart from fighting against their own limits, will aim to draw the public’s attention to the needs of the ELIFAR Foundation, the Young Epilepsy organization and the British scouts.


They will row for 3,600 miles from Geraldton in the western Australia to Port Louis on the Mauritius Island! But that means nothing to a man who after surviving a serious motorcycle accident decided to prove to himself and to others that there are no barriers in life that could not be overcome and that there is nothing impossible. The traveller who crossed the Atlantic Ocean, climbed the Mount Everest and cycled around the world (he visited Poland on that journey) now wants to face another challenge. This time he will not be alone but with Ashley Wilson, a companion who suffers from epilepsy and who overcame an exceptionally acute form of lymphoma. Those two young men have gone through so many things in life that they have only set themselves two goals to achieve – to inspire and to help others in need.

The on-going expedition of Ash and Captain Ketch, as the friends call them, is another attempt to draw the attention of the public to three charity organizations: the ELIFAR Foundation (Every Life is for a Reason), founded by the Balmain Director, Paul Cawood, which aims to help the families with disabled children, the Young Epilepsy organization and the British scouts. The Young Epilepsy organization is particularly important for Ashley who has been suffering from epilepsy since the age of 7 and he still has to face the attacks of illness once or twice a week. In turn, James is an ambassador of scouts.

You may find more information about the expedition on the website. You can support James’s and Ashley’s expedition via the following website:

The travellers want to collect 100,000 GBP.


James Ketchell's Next Adventure

In April 2015, serial adventurer James Ketchell and Scout leader Ashley Wilson will row 3,600 miles across the Indian Ocean, departing from Geraldton, Western Australia to Mauritius.

There have only been four pair crews that have successfully crossed the Indian Ocean out of eleven attempts. Unlike the Atlantic, they are not going to benefit from the infamous “Trade Winds” that assisted Christopher Columbus and many ocean rowers over the years.

James and Ashley will again be supporting the ELIFAR Foundation and also the Young Epilepsy Foundation.

To find out what James is up to in the meantime you can follow his blog here:



Balmain running for Foundation

Balmain Asset Management running team will run in the 9th Warsaw’s half marathon to support St. Patrick’s Foundation, which provides support for those in Poland, who need it the most.

By taking part in the half marathon, the Balmain team wants to create awareness about the St. Patrick’s Foundation – a non-profit organisation run by Irish volunteers based in Poland. The goal of the Foundation it so provide financial support to a number of registered Polish charities.




Balmain supports record breaking adventurer conquer the world

At the beginning of February 2014, British traveller and adventurer James Ketchell, sponsored by Balmain Asset Management, accomplished his seven month global cycle journey which took him to over 20 countries including Poland. He did all this to challenge his physical and mental limits and to help children in need.


James Ketchell crossed the finish line in Greenwich Observatory in London following the completion of the third of his global extreme challenges, making him the first man to row the Atlantic, climb Everest and cycle around the world.

‘Captain Ketch’, as James is more affectionately known, has been cycling on average over 100 miles a day since last June, totalling 18,000 miles in seven months.

In July last year , James visited three Polish shopping centres managed by Balmain Asset Management: Borek in Wrocław, Arena in Gliwice and Zakopianka in Kraków where he met with young enthusiasts of cycling and extreme adventures. As part of the visits, bicycles were given to local orphanages and children in need.



James Ketchell visited our shopping centres

James is already in India! Struggling with cold and other obstacles James has managed to cycle 7,000 km, since the moment he left Poland in the middle of July. We are hoping that on every part of his journey he meets with a warm welcome, like the one he experienced in our country. Family picnics were organised in three shopping centres: Borek, Wrocław, Arena, Gliwice and Zakopianka Kraków. Crowds gathered, as people were interested in James and his astonishing achievements. James met with local bike associations, local authorities and media. A number of bikes and bike equipment were donated to local foster homes. We keep our fingers crossed that James has a successful journey!


Balmain Asset Management sponsors serial adventurer

On 30th June 2013, British traveller and adventurer James Ketchell begun a global cycle journey which, when completed, will make him the first man to have rowed the Atlantic, climbed Everest and cycled around the world. Balmain Asset Management, as a sponsor of the journey, invited James to visit and recharge his batteries in three of the company’s shopping centres: CH Borek in Wrocław, CH Arena in Gliwice and CH Zakopianka in Kraków.


Balmain proudly supports

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The Elifar Foundation is a small charity which helps to improve the lives of children and adults with severe learning difficulty and associated physical disability.

The intense challenge of daily management at home usually means that a grant will enhance life for the rest of the family too. The trustees are all busy professional people and include a parent of two severely disabled children and a nurse, highly experienced in this field.

Costs are kept to a minimum and the charity is run almost entirely by volunteers. The cost of operation to date has been around 2% of funds raised, the remainder providing grants for electronic wheelchairs, specialised seating, eating aids, special beds and trikes, hoists, communication devices, sensory equipment and specialist holidays.

Nature’s reality means that a large number of people with severe neurological disability are children; so the majority of the applications received by the charity are on behalf of the young.

The Elifar Foundation relies entirely on independent donations and fundraising and enjoys the support of many individuals and companies, particularly within the retail property industry.

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FISP provides financial support for a variety of needy causes in Poland with funding centrally derived from the St Patricks Charity Ball and the Ball’s sponsors.

FISP disperses funds raised at the Ball by providing financial support to registered Polish charities who provide care and shelter for the less well off.

This financial support is used to buy specialized equipment, to fund training and capital projects, to ease the burden on carers who have dedicated their lives to helping others.

FISP is blessed to have the generous support of individuals and corporate volunteers, friends and donors. Their investment touches the everyday lives of Polish people, young and old, able-bodied and disabled.

FISP is a non-profit organisation run by Irish volunteers based in Poland. The Ball itself is celebrated on Saturday nearest St Patricks’s Day, the 17th March.