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Over The Wall celebrates Paul Newman’s 95th birthday

Today the Over The Wall is celebrating the legacy and life of our founder, the late, great Paul Newman. Every year on 26th January, we take a moment to look back at the Hollywood legend’s achievements and most importantly, his philanthropic accomplishments.   

On a day that would have marked Paul’s 95th birthday, we are celebrating his numerous achievements and we are also taking time to reflect upon our own, and the growth of our charity in recent years. 

It was in 1988 that Paul launched his first camp in the US, (in Ashford, Connecticut) in a bid to create a place for children with serious illness to – as he put it – ‘raise a little hell’. In 1999, he brought camp to the UK, launching Over The Wall with Scottish businessman Joe Woods. (You can watch an interview with Joe, where he explains how it all began HERE).  

Back then, the first OTW camp catered for 25 children with cancer. This year, we are offering places to 1,200 campers and we now cater for as many as 130 different illnesses.  

Over The Wall remains the only UK based SeriousFun Children’s Network camp, and is one of 30 serving the needs and families around the world.  

Our CEO, Kevin Mathieson, commented, “Paul was many things – a Hollywood icon, an award-winning film director, a race-car driver, and an entrepreneur– but his commitment to philanthropy is his most impressive achievement. His generosity and kindness knew no limits, and because of this, he has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s with great pride that we reflect on what an amazing person our founder was, on what would be his 95th birthday. It’s also the perfect time for us to look back on our own growth and achievements over recent years, of which we hope Paul would be proud.” 

Happy birthday Paul!  

A few facts about Paul… 

  • To date, Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $550 million to thousands of charities.  
  • Paul was nominated for 9 Oscars- (the 7th highest number of nominations in history), but only won one for “The Colour of Money” in 1986.  
  • Paul was a professional race-car driver and turned professional in 1977. He and his team competed in various major races and they came 5th in Daytona 1977, and 2nd in the Le Mans 1979.   
  • Paul claimed never read the reviews of his films- and was famously quoted: “If they’re good you get a fat head and if they’re bad you’re depressed for three weeks.” 
  • As a political activist, Paul was opposed to the Vietnam War, and an advocate for civil rights. He even ended up on President Nixon’s ‘enemies list’! 
  • Paul was renowned in the film industry for his blue eyes – but very few people were aware that he was colour blind- a condition that prevented him from becoming a navy pilot in World War Two.