Welsh world champion and Olympian unveiled as Adoption UK ambassador
Published: 06.09.17Adoption UK is delighted to announce that Olympian Jamie Baulch has agreed to become an ambassador for the charity.
The former British sprint athlete, who is an adoptee, won the 400 metres gold medal at the 1999 World Indoor Championships - and as a member of British 4 × 400 metres relay teams, won a gold medal at the 1997 World Championships, and silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. He also represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games where he won an individual silver medal and a bronze medal in the 4 × 400 metres relay.
Jamie was born in Nottingham, but raised by adoptive parents in Risca, near Newport, Wales. In 2016 Jamie made a TV documentary for the BBC Being Jamie Baulch: The Search for My Birth Dad, in which he goes in search of his biological father, who he believes to be Jamaican, and the source of his speed. In a previous Bafta Cymru-winning BBC documentary Jamie Baulch: Looking For My Birth Mum, Jamie went on an emotional journey looking for his birth mother. In the end he found her, met with her for the first time and showed her his athletics medals.
When asked about his decision to become an Adoption UK ambassador, Jamie explained: “I had the most amazing childhood. My adoptive parents Marilyn and Alan were wonderful. They had a beautiful house with lots of land, so I used to run around in the fields and have all my friends over. It was a lovely Enid Blyton style upbringing. This is why I would like to give something back.”
I know only too well the importance of finding adoptive families for the many vulnerable children waiting in care
Jamie said he is excited to be working with Adoption UK and hopes to use his own personal experiences of adoption to help bring the charity's campaigns to life. He said: “I’m glad I was adopted as it gave me a second chance in life. It feels like I was chosen. Without the love and guidance of my adoptive parents I may not have had the opportunity to become an athlete and consequently a World Champion and Olympic medallist.
“I’m well aware that adoption has changed dramatically since I was adopted as a baby so I am keen to understand the issues facing adoptive families today. But I know only too well the importance of finding adoptive families for the many vulnerable children waiting in care and what it means to those children to find the love and support of a family of their own. This is why I want to champion Adoption UK’s campaigns and help to persuade decision-makers across the UK to give all adoptive families the right to timely and appropriate support.”
Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, Adoption UK’s chief executive, said: “Jamie's real-life experiences as an adoptee are invaluable to Adoption UK. Not only has Jamie got an inspirational personal story to tell, he obviously gets what it means to be adopted, which is vital when it comes to successfully engaging with other adoptive families. We’re delighted to have Jamie onboard.”
Jamie is the fourth celebrity to become an Adoption UK ambassador. He joins broadcaster Nicky Campbell OBE and West End star Shona White – both fellow adoptees – as well as gold-medal winning Olympian Tessa Sanderson CBE, who is an adoptive parent to twins.