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:
- Liz Williams – visits SA and all our projects about once a year….. she funds her trips herself.
- Linda McQuaid – keeps a keen eye on all the governance issues, she raises funds through running the London marathon and is involved in the strategy and fundraising at a corporate level
- Mike Brunt – has knowledge of the issues in SA as he currently works there with the Elton John Foundation, he has particular expertise in training and knowledge of the situation of orphans and vulnerable children in the Eastern Cape..
- Les Skipper – ex and occasional producer at the BBC and a media / communications specialist helps with all our publications, the blog/Twitter/Facebook and our public face.
- Gay Jennions does all the work for the website, keeps it updated and regularly rewrites all the technical stuff.
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.