For over 20 years I worked closely with projects all over the world as part of a movement of social entrepreneurs developing sustainable and holistic models of change. Our values united our passion to facilitate impoverished communities to break the cycle of poverty, village by village, country by country. Despite the billions spent on aid in recent years, the numbers of people suffering around the world has grown to an astronomical level. Convinced old models of charity didn’t work and driven by the belief that we must change the course of history for ALL children, I was compelled to become involved in reversing this trend.
A New Model of Charity
I believe the world needs a new model of charity that is transparent and connects with today's informed givers. Thinking through the vision and strategy for a charitable foundation, I envisaged Global Angels spreading across the world as a significant people movement, facilitating positive change. We would collaborate with world experts to implement sustainable solutions for vulnerable communities. Grants would be given to deserving projects in every country.
Everyone Can Be An Angel
It was essential that everyone could be involved and enjoy their partnership with charity and we adopted our slogan, "everyone can be an Angel". To build the foundations of a charity that would be able to expand rapidly, we needed to be adaptable and innovative in changing times and lean on operating costs. Our vetting procedure and monitoring of charity projects partners needed to be excellent yet simple. We adopted a strategy of collaborating with and outsourcing to experts and skilled volunteers, who would form our wider Global Angels Team. This would bring in high-level key skills, keep costs down and provide opportunity for many people to donate their services as Angels. Companies and individuals would be invited to sponsor our operating costs or donate resources as Corporate Angels.
Global Angels 100% Promise
People want to choose directly where their donations go and how they will be used on the ground. They want to know ALL the funds go where they’ve directed them rather than on hidden operational costs. They also want to enjoy giving and raising funds for their chosen project. To promise 100% of public donation going directly to projects, for tangible items and sustainable solutions, was essential to our vision and values.
The Global Angels Foundation Is Born
In December 2003, my son Daniel, my daughters Nikola and Natasha, and I formed the founding Global Angels Board. We received full UK charity status in February 2004 and Global Angels Foundation was born. Natasha and Nikola moved from acting as Trustees of the charity in September 2005 to become Ambassadors. Daniel is a Founding Member serving on the Global Angels Boards in the UK and US and International Leadership of the Foundation. Long term family friends, Peter Wild and Mark Eddison joined the Global Angels Board and continue to serve as Trustees today, with Peter also a member of the Global Angels International Leadership.
In January 2005, Ian Lethbridge joined the Global Angels Team as International Projects Coordinator to help build our first project partnerships in Africa. Chesney Hawkes joined as an Ambassador raising our first major donation to help us launch and build our first home for street children in Kenya.
Global Angels Official Launch Concert, London, June 2005
Lemar and Lily Cole became Ambassadors, joining Daniel Bedingfield and Natasha Bedingfield in an amazing concert officially launching the Global Angels Foundation. It was a red carpet affair as the team at Coutts went out of their way to providing spectacular fare and hosting our event.
Adam St Private Members Club kindly donated their venue for our after-party, sponsored by Sony BMG, bringing them both in as Corporate Angels alongside Coutts and SRLV. Christian Elliott kindly stepped in and produced the event alongside his network of friends, all donating their skills and time.
||Feed A Child For A Year Campaign
Our Feed A Child For A Year campaign was launched in November, with a concert at Hard Rock Cafe Park Lane, London. Artists Natasha Bedingfield, Katie Melua, Ms Dynamite, Chesney Hawkes and Nate James donated their amazing performances. Hard Rock became a Corporate Angel generously hosting the concert, as did Pall Mall Consult supporting with PR. The event was a great success. We raised £100,000 including the funds to feed and educate our first 1,000 children in Africa, for a year.
Nominated Best New Charity
We were thrilled to be one of the four finalists for Best New Charity in 2005.
MWB Business Exchange generously partnered with us to donate our offices in Victoria (July 05). They have continued to make us one of their official charities and donate our current office opposite St Martins in the Field, Trafalgar Square. Legal firm ARA Associates, partnered to donate their work to help us trademark our branding across the world.
ASHA donated their expertise to develop our brand identity & strategy, alongside our website, winning a “Silver” Cream Award in 2006, for Best Use of Illustration/Animation through their brilliant work on our “Step Up” campaign. We launched the “Step UP”campaign in November with a concert at the Gymnasium venue in Kings Cross with artists Daniel and Natasha Bedingfield, Laura Michelle Kelly, Nate James and comedian Francesca Martinez.
Step Up America Concert in Times Square Launches Global Angels US
Bear Grylls, Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Kingston, Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC), Daniel Bedingfield, Lamont and Martha Redbone performed at the launch of Global Angels US in our Step Up America Concert in Times Square, New York, November 2007.
The event was an outstanding success. Hard Rock Cafe generously hosted us in their Times Square venue, and we received television coverage through VH1 and Fashion TV, and on countless radio stations. Media covering the launch included a four page feature in Hello Magazine and we are now feeding and educating 3,500 children on three continents as a direct result.
The Royalton Hotel, hosted our after party in NY. We have recently been made one of the Morgan Hotel Groups official charities in the UK and US,with David Bowd, Senior Vice President of Operations, and Anne Golden, Regional Vice President & General Manager, London, both on our International Advisory Board.
For 5 hours, celebrities Stepped Up in front of our Angel with their live photo shoot being shown on the NASDAQ, Reuters and MTV screens in Times Square. Special thanks to David Fischette and Jayme Laforest from Go West designed and created the visual spectacular on the screens, very generously donating their expertise and time; to photo-journalist Hazel Thompson for donating her photography for our Step Up photo shoot and live screening in Times Square; and to Elliott Parr and the Hard Rock production team for managing and producing the live show.
|Hard Rock Cafe's first Global Charity Partner Hamish Dodds, President and CEO of Hard Rock International, and Annie Balliro, Senior Director Global Brand Philanthropy, partnered with us in hosting and launching the Hard Rock Feed A Child campaign rolling out in 50 countries in November 2007.
This was a tremendous gift to us as a charity with Annie and Hamish being outstanding Ambassadors. Working with the international team of Hard Rock staff, they hosted 3 concerts, in Times Square New York, in Park Lane London and Mumbai, India, running the campaign in every Hard Rock Casino, Hotel and Cafe around the world.
Building Schools, Feeding Children, Building Water Wells
- We have provided new homes for 180 street kids in Kenya, and 40 children in Sierra Leone.
- In Mozambique, we provided 29 water wells for 15,000 people, 12,500 mosquito nets for mothers and young children.
- In Uganda, we provided a school for 750 children alongside a rehabilitation centre for 120 mothers and children rescued from the LRA guerillas; animals to stock their farm, a bakery to help the project become sustainable, and a community health centre.
- We have built a secondary school for 350 children in the Masai Mara, Kenya and have completed a water project for 6,000 people in the surrounding area.
- We have almost completed a large water purification plant for 100,000 people in Kenya in a seriously drought ridden area and built three homes for street kids.
- In Sierra Leone we have built a school for street kids and orphans, also providing for rice fields, bicycles and a taxi to help create sustainable jobs for the older children in the project, plus helped them rebuild the home for children that had burnt down.
- We provided sponsorship for 1 years further education for girls rescued from the sex industry of Mumbai.
- In Nepal, we have provided solar panels and hot water for a large children's home; computers for the school age children, plus a new kitchen and dining room.
|The First Everest Skydive and the Global Angels Flying Academy
I was challenged to join the first Everest Skydive team to raise funds for disadvantaged children in Asia. With the Himalayas as the backdrop, I tandem skydived with a halo jump from 29.500 ft, 500ft above Mt Everest alongside several world champion skydivers and Global Angel Ambassadors. Together we raised $300,000 for disadvantaged children in Asia and made a new record as the first to skydive in the Himalayas.
As the official Everest Skydive charity, we are now attempting new records each year and encouraging everyone to "Earn Their Wings."
This last few years, so many of our Ambassadors have been creating or breaking world record. Adventurer and television presenter for Discovery Channel, Bear Grylls, flew a powered para-glider to a height greater than Mt. Everest itself, while raising $1 million for projects in Africa and making a world record.
World Champion Skydiver, Wendy Smith, is leading the Everest Skydive events and was the cinematographer for the first Everest Skydive, made another world record as a Global Angels Ambassador in 2008 by making the highest ever skydive landing on Kalar Pattar, Mt Everest. Wendy is helping me raise $1 million for children in Asia through Everest Skydive.
Nick Leventis, racing car driver and leader of the Straker racing team, has just one five awards in Le Mans as a Global Angels Ambassador and is soon to make a new skydive record raising funds for Burmese refugee children living on the border of Thailand.
Bonita Norris has just become the youngest British woman to successfully conquer Mt Everest as an Ambassador while raising funds for child soldiers in Uganda and disabled children in the UK.
We are currently developing some very exciting internationally televised events to be announced in the coming months, more world record adventures, while expanding our on-the-ground charity projects around the world.
Step Up and share your resources, time and skill to help us change the course of history. The kids need us to succeed.