Who we are

How we got started is a well documented story but if you’d like to read about it CLICK HERE

Setting up and running the charity

After much research in the latter part of 2004 the infant trust was registered as a charity in April 2005. We submit annual accounts for both Companies House and the Charities Commission.

We started with three trustees and have now expanded to five, all very experienced in health, training or business and one who have very close personal links with South Africa. Lesley Rudd, as founder, is both Chief Executive and Treasurer.

Our trustees take various roles:

With this help it all means that we can spend 97% of all your donations on our project work with partners in South Africa.

Our project work

We work in partnership with local South African organisations to enable sustainable change; our main focus is training for community workers as well as supporting therapeutic programmes, funding research, developing community awareness and diversion programmes – we do these things because we know they have the greatest impact on child protection – we do give occasional grants, but they are very small and only one-off.

Initially we were determined to keep away from the whole HIV/AIDs bandwagon but it is blindingly obvious that HIV/AIDS has a huge impact and makes thousands and thousands of small children extremely vulnerable once they have no biological parent. It also rapidly transpired that communities, and women in particular, feel very disempowered and although they see terrible things going on around them they don’t know what to do, or who to turn to. Evidence from our many training programmes now show us just what women [and men] who have skills and knowledge can, together do to change things. It is one of the most amazing things to see and to be part of.

In 2013 - 2014 we will support eight projects in six areas of the country, 85% of which are tried and tested training programmes. All are with known partners and build on already successful programmes. See the map for where we work.


We have a properly constituted Board with regular meetings, a set agenda including finances, projects, fundraising, and publicity actions. We have a set of policies that are highlighted here on the website and we record everything, have robust and noted debates and our trustees keep a weather eye on activities, projects, fundraising, income, and expenditure.

As a Board we meet every three-four months and the meeting in July is our AGM where we sign off the accounts and reappoint any trustees whose time is due –we reappointed the original three trustees in September 2008 then again in 2011.

We have three very highly valued Patrons – Baroness Joan Walmsley, Dr Chai Patel and Lord John Lee.

Funds & Fundraising

From the outset funding has been made available through a single donor for my travel through restricted donations specifically for my travel. This has enabled the building of crucial relationships and planning of projects with our partners in SA, and is absolutely critical to our growing success.

We gratefully receive funds from all over the place and have a very treasured relationship with Bright Future Trust [ http://www.bright-future.org.uk ] and the faith and support shown to us by one of our Patrons, Dr Chai Patel; apart from this other philanthropic organisations have been very supportive.

Our band of donors who regularly support us, fundraise for us, or set-up standing orders grows all the time and we are endlessly grateful for the faith placed in us by these generous people.

Publicising our work in the UK

We publish an annual newsletter and an annual report both in print and circulate them through Royal Mail. They are well received and, to date has more than covered their costs through the additional funds attracted. In October 2008 we were shortlisted for Guardian Small Charity of the year; unfortunately we didn’t win but to be shortlisted from over 600 charities was a real boost for us.

We are on Twitter and Facebook.– these can be accessed from the top of this page.

Who does the work?

Apart now from a paid book keeper, an accountant who does the financial sections of the annual report, a fundraising / organisational development specialist who acts as our mentor, we pay no salaries, all the work is done pro-bono.

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Our project locations

Map of South Africa

We are not sending any more toys to South Africa. If you would like to donate then please contact the lovely people at: http://theteddytrust.wixsite.com/home

We are proud and honoured that our work has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister, and that he has given Lesley his Point of Light award, stating
With the Infant Trust Lesley has empowered thousands of women across South Africa to protect and safeguard children in their communities. The education and training she has provided has helped to improve the lives of over 800,000 children, tackling the violence and abuse that affects too many of them in their early years. As we mark International Women’s Day this week I am delighted to recognise all that Lesley has done.”
You can find the full story at https://www.pointsoflight.gov.uk/2268-2/
Why are so many small children abused by male perpetrators in South Africa? Our researcher interviewed 27 perpetrators in prison in South Africa; all are in jail after being found guilty of some of the most terrible crimes against some of the most vulnerable children – some as young as a few days old. Those interviewed are all men aged between 16 years and 84 years old, and all have brutalised and raped at least one child. But the findings aren’t maybe what we might expect – it makes interesting reading.  We have been funding research into this for 5 years and it is finally finished and published .

Our flagship Caring for Crèches programme has reached into some of the poorest communities in five of the nine provinces in South Africa and we have crèche leaders everywhere clamouring for the training. We have now trained over 2,200 people and they in turn have already positively impacted on the lives of over 160,000 children … and will continue to help many hundreds more children for years to come