Having just watched Children in Need on TV and, as always, being moved by the emotional challenges people face, I reflect on what I have done this year to ‘pay it forward’.

As a child I suffered with severe food allergies and spent the first 16 years of my life being closely monitored whilst maintaining a very strict diet. Every 6 months would herald a trip to St Thomas’ Hospital in London for checks and tests. The amount of time, money and resources it must have taken from both the hospital and my family is astounding.

Having just watched Children in Need on TV and, as always, being moved by the emotional challenges people face, I reflect on what I have done this year to ‘pay it forward’.

As a child I suffered with severe food allergies and spent the first 16 years of my life being closely monitored whilst maintaining a very strict diet. Every 6 months would herald a trip to St Thomas’ Hospital in London for checks and tests. The amount of time, money and resources it must have taken from both the hospital and my family is astounding.

2 years ago, just after my second son was born, we were approached by St Thomas’ Hospital to see if we would be willing to participate in a 3-year trial relating to the development of allergies in children who are breast-fed. For me this was the perfect opportunity to pay it forward and give a little bit back to St Thomas’. To hopefully help them understand more clearly food allergy development in children and in turn be better placed to help children like me in the future.

In addition, having suffered with asthma all my life, this year I completed a charity challenge by running the London Marathon for Asthma UK. The opportunity to again give a little back just felt like the right thing to do.

Too often in life we are so busy, with our heads down, trying to carve out a place in the world of business, that we forget to look up and acknowledge all that we have. So with the end of the year approaching and New Year’s Resolutions just around the corner, instead of thinking how can I improve my life this year, perhaps take a moment to think how can I improve someone else’s life. Take a moment to recognise the good fortune that you have experienced in 2013 and ‘pay it forward’.