Our Patrons

Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS

Best known for her BAFTA award-winning acting career, Joanna Lumley is a human rights activist, animal welfare campaigner, and author of seven books, including 'Girl Friday' and 'In the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon.' Her TV travel documentary work has included journeys in Norway, Greece, Rwanda, Iran, Japan, and India, as well as through eight countries on the ancient Silk Road trade route, and a 6,400-mile adventure from Hong Kong to Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

(Photo credit: Matt Holyoak)

Ted Simon

There aren't many people who've spent four years travelling around the world. Acclaimed travel writer, Ted Simon, is one of a rare breed to have done so twice. 'Jupiter's Travels' tells the story of his first journey in the '70s, which he reprised with 'Dreaming of Jupiter' a quarter of a century later. Among his many other books, 'The Gypsy In Me' stands out for its vivid portrayal of post-Soviet Eastern Europe as Ted searched for traces of his estranged Romanian father.

To encourage 'travel with purpose' and assist independent travellers share the stories of their experiences, the Ted Simon Foundation was established in 2011.

Born in Germany, Ted grew up in England and spent more than three decades in Northern California. He now lives in the south of France.

Catherine Fairweather

Catherine Fairweather has travelled to just about every corner of the world as Travel Director at PORTER magazine, and previously the travel editor at Harper's Bazaar UK.

Catherine lives in Somerset with her husband, Sir Don McCullin CBE, the award-winning photojournalist.

Dr. Pragya Agarwal FRSA

Dr. Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural scientist specialising in creative thinking, diversity, and racial and gender bias. She is the author of SWAY: The science of unconscious bias, published by Bloomsbury in April 2020.

Pragya has spoken at TEDx events in Warwick and Jaipur, and was named one of the 100 most influential women in the UK's non-profit social enterprise sector in 2018. A campaigner for gender equality and mental health awareness, she has appeared on BBC Women's Hour, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Breakfast, the Australian Broadcasting Service and Canadian Radio, as well as contributing articles about diversity and inclusion to Forbes, Times Higher Education, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Metro, The Telegraph, and The Independent.

Pragya has travelled extensively, both solo and with her family, and is passionate about incorporating her love of food, art and architecture into new travel experiences.