Welcome to The George Oliver Foundation.
We are a grant-making charity that has been set up in loving memory of George Richard Namiki Oliver, a little boy who would want other children to have a chance at the love and support that he had.
Each year we fund a range of children's projects with different charities covering health and education in the UK and abroad. We are currently supporting five projects with charities including Sick Children's Trust, Blue Elephant Theatre and Soundmix. You can read more about the projects here.
Mark's 2013/14 Fundraising Challenge - 12 bikes in 12 months...
Since April 2013 Mark (George's Dad) has been tackling a new challenge for George's Foundation. He is riding from London to Brighton once every month but on a different bike each time. Not just any old bikes though.... He has most recently completed the 70 mile trip on a bright red Recumbant and gone back in time on a (not particularly comfortable!) BMX. Still to come we have everyone's favourite folding bike, a Brompton, plus a tandem ride with Emily. He'll be completing the challenge in March 2014 on a Penny Farthing.
You can read all about the adventure and see more pictures in his blog here
You can also support his efforts on his "12 in 12" Just Giving page here. Thank you!
Funding contribution to Wirral Hospice St John's
Due to the fantastic fundraising efforts of the team at CMS Cameron McKenna and Paul Smith, we have been able to make an extra funding contribution this year. The funds will go towards providing improved facilities for young children spending time with family members at the hospice. Paul Smith's father was cared for by Wirral Hospice St John's in 2013 and we are very pleased to be able to support them in their important work.
Big Thank You!
Congratulations and a massive thank you goes to some amazing fundraisers who have been putting in huge efforts for George's Foundation. The 15 strong team from CMS Cameron McKenna including Elliott, Charlie, Selena and James rode from London to Paris in three days, Sue Booker and Guy Foreman ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon, Daisy Griffith completed an epic "Tough Mudder" challenge and Anita Watman put on a fantastic fundraising night in Edinburgh. We are so proud to have all of their support, and a massive thank you goes to everyone who has been backing them. Congratulations all!
The Blue Elephant Theatre "Speak Out" Project has been a fantastic success and we were really glad to have the chance to see two separate performances of the finished piece, "You Can't Eat Chicken All The Time". The play aims to examine, and initiate discussion of, mental health issues among young people and had a big impact on both the audiences that we were part of. It is created as forum theatre so that after the initial performance the piece is performed again with full interaction from the audience, influencing outcomes and looking at issues raised. The piece is touring local schools, community projects and youth groups.
BET have recently had great news that they will be receiving funding from Comic Relief specifically to enable a further tour of this project in 2014. We are especially proud to have funded this project that otherwise would not have been produced, and it is fantastic to know that the good work will continue.
War Child Policy Forum - Mark was kindly invited to attend the War Child Policy Forum, part of the events marking their 20th Anniversary in 2013. The event was specifically looking at the future of conflict and its impact on children and included guest speaker William Hague and a special contribution from Sir Richard Branson. Mark has written an account of the event on our projects pages here. War Child are hugely influential in defending and safe-guarding children's rights in the world's most dangerous conflict zones, we are very proud to have supported them.
We have also recently heard from Sick Children's Trust that the new home from home facility in Sheffield in nearing completion. There has been a small delay to the work but all still within budget. Pictures to follow soon.
Congratulations to our amazing fundraisers!
Also in 2013 we've had incredible support from several intrepid fundraisers. Congratulations and a huge thank you goes to -
Laura Merten who completed the first ever Ride London 100 in brilliant time despite a crash after 70 miles, Hugh Dixon who rode from London to Paris (just in time for the final day of Tour de France!), Ian Herbert who raced round the St Albans half marathon, Charlie Adams who ran the Stockholm Marathon (in torrential rain!), George's Grandma Haruyo Oliver who walked for 9 hours, covering 21 miles of the Ridgeway in the Chiltern Hills and Sarah Woods who conquered the Reading Half Marathon.
A massive thank you goes to everyone who has supported them, we are extremely grateful for all the hard work and training that has gone into all of these fantastic achievements.
AND MORE THANKS....
We are also very grateful to George's Grandpa Richard who has donated the proceeds from the auction of Christopher Lytle's stamp collection. Christoph was Richard's life long best friend and Emily's Godfather, he passed away in 2012.
A big thank you also goes to Rowena Barney who has donated proceeds from several second hand and car boot sales over the last six months. Great work Ro!
We are also delighted to have had the kind support of Rhoda Pearman and her lovely friends who have made donations to mark the momentous occasion of Rhoda's retirement from her 48 year career flying with BA. The event was celebrated with a wonderful cruise down the Thames in Henley and a great time was had by all!
If anyone else is thinking of taking on a fundraising challenge please do get in touch, every bit of fundraising support is a huge help! firstname.lastname@example.org
CMSCameron McKenna Fundraising Night at 100 Club
We were honoured recentlly to be part of an incredible fundraising night organised by a fantastic team at CMS Cameron McKenna. The night took place at London's iconic 100 Club with an awesome line up of three bands who rocked the capacity crowd until late. We are incredibly grateful for this brilliiant support and very glad it also involved a lot of people having a lot of fun! A big thank you to all involved.
Great news from One to One Children's Fund in Kosovo is that the new minibus that we have funded is now active and the many children it transports each day are gaining huge benefits from the increased access it provides. Without the wheelchair accessible minibus it was impossible for many children to access the important facilities available at the Children's Centre in Pirzen. Pictures of the bus to follow.
Project funding 2013/14
Our funding year began on April 3rd 2013 and we are really excited to be supporting these five fantastic new initiatives -
- A new “Speak Out” youth project with The Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell. More
- Part of the new Sick Children’s Trust “home from home” facility for families of critically ill children at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. More
- A new wheelchair accessible minibus for the day care centre in Prizren in Kosovo, with One to One Children’s Fund. More
- Places at BISO community school in Lusaka, Zambia for 100 orphaned and vulnerable children affected by HIV, with Cecily’s Fund. More
- Part of the music workshop project for refugee children run by Soundmix in Croydon. More
You can read more detail about all these projects here
We are really excited to be supporting these excellent organisations in their important work. We really believe in the benefits they are bringing to many children who have great need for support. The impacts of all these projects are far-reaching as well as sustainable into the future.
Thank you so much for all your support, that is what has made all this possible.
Beanstalk & SkillForce project updates
We are really pleased to have been sent very encouraging end of year updates from all our projects. Particular highlights include the fantastic progress by our two SkillForce students - both gaining valuable qualifications and experiences. The young boy we support has recently achieved the "Junior Sports Leader Award" which is a nationally recognised qualification and is an excellent start in his hopes for a future career in sports leadership.
Volunteer Reading Help has a new identity for 2013 and is now called Beanstalk. One of the volunteers sent this feedback that we feel perfectly illustrates the valuable work that Beanstalk do. She began working with a 'selective mute' child who was struggling in all aspects of school with very limited literacy. After many weeks she finally achieved a breakthrough and now six months later writes that “he is now talking happily to the other children, to teachers and to me. In his excitement to get to his reading sessions, he dashes along the corridor to the library...he can’t wait to rummage through the books, games, paper and colours on the table. I could cry with joy at his progress and happiness. Now I am usually greeted with a big smile and a sparkle of fun in his eye.”
"The Rainbow Rooms" fundraising night!
A huge thank you to everyone who came to our fundraising night in the basement rooms of Shoreditch Town Hall. We all had a fantastic night and we are pleased to say we almost doubled what we were hoping to raise with a total close to £8000! You have all helped us to raise an incredible amount for all the projects we support, thank you.
We were lucky enough to have top notch entertainment from comedy cabaret star Sarah-Louise Young, and some extra special entertaiment as well in the form of the Human Fruit Machine. Plus the full rainbow of rooms to explore, games to play and some delicious home-baking.
We owe a huge thank you to so many people for making the night happen - all the volunteers, people who sold raffle tickets, people who baked, and especially those of you who could make it on the night. We are extremely grateful for all this fantastic support. THANK YOU!
You can see a list of raffle prize winners here plus some more photos are on facebook.
We hope you all had a really great night!
War Child - project update
We have recently been sent these photos from the education project we are supporting in Nassiryaah, Iraq. The project provides essential literacy and life-skills education to young girls currently not able to attend school. Shelley is the War Child representative for this area of Southern Iraq and has recently completed a trip there, overseeing the completion of a project to refurbish local schools, as well as monitoring progress with this project. We will have further updates in the new year.
Congratulations + Thank you!
Thank you to Anna Ward-Murphy who took on the Great Birmingham Run in aid of George's Foundation. 13 miles with a record 18,000 other runners. Huge congratulations Anna!
A big thank you also goes to Guy Foreman, Emma Jones, Ellie Fitzgerald and Kathryn Scott who all completed the Royal Parks half marathon, fundraising for George's Foundation. We were there cheering and we saw them all cross the line in top shape within 5 minutes of each other, powering through just on 2 hours. Big congratulations and thank you to all of you for the support!
The same weekend Kate Sharpe also braved a different kind of challenge, tackling the Major Series cross country run in Kent. Luckiliy not in the rain but plenty of mud to add to the adventure. Massive congratulations and thank you Kate!
London to Bristol bike ride 2012
In 2012 Emily (George's Mum) and two of her very oldest friends, Tom Rogers (George's Godfather) and Gemma Foreman, spent three days cycling from London to Bristol. It was 160 miles following National Route 4 through a few urban sprawls, but mostly along beautiful country lanes and many miles on bumpy river and canal towpaths. The weather was unfeasibly kind and so, apart from a small crash on the A4 (!), we made it all the way there in good shape. You can see more photos on the George Oliver Foundation facebook page. The support was fantastic and very much appreciated, a huge thank you goes to everyone who got involved!
"100 Hills for George"
In 2012 Mark Oliver became the first person ever to complete Simon Warren's "100 Greatest Cycling Climbs". It was a year long challenge to cylcle up all 100 hills in the book from the Scottish Mountains to the South Downs. It was as much of a logistical challenge as it was a test of stamina, with Emily, dog Hobbs and later on George's sister Mila, along for the ride.
Simon Warren's second book "Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs" is now available....! According to the author (pictured with Mark below) Mark was officially the first person to complete the book within a year.
We celebrated the end of the challenge with a group ride up Swain's Lane in Highgate where Simon Warren kindly joined us.
You can read Mark’s blog about the big adventure here www.100hillsforgeorge.blogspot.com
You can also see our photos of it all here
A massive thank you to everyone who has supported Mark's efforts!
George changed our lives forever and we hope that together we can all help change other people’s lives in his name. Thank you for your support.
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Registered Charity No. 1135701