UWE Bristol awards honorary degree to Ken Hames

Issue date: 23 July 2012


Ken Hames

UWE Bristol will award the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration to Ken Hames in recognition of his outstanding achievements in leadership and motivation and, in particular, his work supporting young people with disabilities faced with extraordinary challenges.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law on Monday 23 July at Bristol Cathedral.

Ken started out as a 16 year old army recruit. He left the army two decades later as a Major, in command of 600 men. He has served in the Parachute Brigade, the Royal Marines, and the Special Air Service. Ken's operational experience is vast, ranging from guarding Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hesse in Spandau Prison, 10 tours of Northern Ireland, to the liberation of Port Stanley in the Falklands and the First Gulf War.

Following his military career, Ken has created and presented a number of programmes for television.

His first TV show was 'The Trek' in 1994. With the help of Diana, Princess of Wales, Ken took 12 disadvantaged young people to Africa on a 500 mile trek over desert and mountain terrain. The process transformed their lives and Ken still monitors their progress 12 years on.

Since then, Ken has created and fronted adventure programmes for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, CBBC, Sky and the Discovery Channel.

In 2003, 'Desert Darlings' was broadcast on Channel 4 which saw Ken take couples across the Namib Desert, placing their relationships under the extreme pressure of the expedition. His first series for Channel 4 was the award winning 'Jungle Janes' where Ken's challenge was to turn a group of British women into a cohesive team fit enough to take on the gruelling jungles of Borneo.

Ken created and is the expedition leader on the ground breaking 'Beyond Boundaries' series for the BBC. In this, Ken takes significantly disabled people and motivates them to complete seemingly impossible expeditions. He trains and inspires them into a team and the end result is life changing. His next broadcast series will be 'Beyond Boundaries – Where Are They Now?'. 'Beyond Boundaries' now has its own live event, bringing disabled people from all over the world together with their friends and families.

Ken is also currently Operations Director of Farscape Development, a company specialising in behavioural leadership training.

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