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 projects with charities including War Child, Haven House Hospice and Arts For All. You can read more about the projects here.
New project funding 2016/2017
The following new projects are being funded this year (until April 2017). We were delighted to receive a very high number of applications this year and the selection process was challenging. We hope all our supporters will be glad to read about the fantastic work of these four sucessful projects.
Haven House Children's Hospice "Butterfly Project"
Haven House is a children's hospice in Waltham Forest offering respite, end of life and palliative care. The George Oliver Foundation is making a donation of £7,500 to their new Butterfly Project working to offer more choice of hospice services at home. The new project will work to give families real choice in their place of care, of death and of emotional and bereavement support. One of the main elements of the project is for trained support workers to offer at home play sessions as part of respite care for life limited children. This new service can also benefit the whole family and those involved in the child’s care. Haven House work hard to give the best possible quality of life and care for every baby, child or young person with a life-limited condition and their family, we are very glad to be supporting their work. You can read more here
Fledglings Helpline - supporting families and carers of disabled children
Fledglings is a charity that assists families caring for children who are sick and disabled. They offer a telephone and email helpline run by trained experts who can give practical support in relation to individual children's special needs. They assist in sourcing products that can improve quality of life, including bespoke products when required. As well as providing an understanding and supportive contact for families who can be overwhelmed by the many challenges they are facing.
By supporting, educating and enabling parents & carers, Fledglings helps many families to improve their child's wellbeing, development and fulfill their potential. They are a small charity and our £5,000 donation will go towards funding a member of helpline staff. Demand for this service is growing by 17% a year and feedback is consistently that Fledglings makes a huge difference to people's lives. You can read more here
Arts for All - Arts Therapy and support for disadvantaged children
Arts For All is small, highly creative charity that has been serving the disadvantaged communities of Tower Hamlets and Hackney for 14 years. The George Oliver Foundation will be contributing £5,130 to fund a sessional worker at the "Kaleidoscope" club which supports disadvantaged and disaffected children and young people aged 5 to 16. Around 60 children a week access the free project which is run by staff and volunteers using art therapy techniques to help its members. 95% of these will reconnect with school and proceed to further education and/or employment. A partnership with the National Autistic Society also ensures that children on the autism spectrum can access and join the club. You can read more here
War Child - Child refugee education project
War Child's mission is to support and improve the care of children and young people in some of the worst conflict affected places. This year we are extending our support of an education programme for 100 Syrian refugee children in Districts 7 and 10 of the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. The project focusses on numeracy and literacy but also provides a safe and supportive space for these children. It is estimated the project will also reach a further 40 parents/caregivers directly and 400 family members/people indirectly. The ability of these children to access education will hopefully help them and their families to look towards a more positive future. War Child also work hard to create Education Engagement Groups and raise awareness on child protection issues. We are very glad to be continuing the partnership that we have with War Child, in this area of great need. You can read more here
There were a great many excellent applications this year which made it a very challenging selection process. We would like to thank all applicants for their time in applying to us. We are very sorry that we cannot fund more charities. For information on how to apply for funding in 2017 click here
Congratulations to our chosen charities - we look forward to working with them and helping the children that they support.
Thank you all for your support - you are making all of this possible!
Congratulations & Thank you!
Huge congratulations to Emma Jones and Catherine Job who sucessfully completed the infamous 24 hour Three Peaks Challenge! The challenge involves tackling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon all in 24 hours including all the driving time in between - meaning very little sleep and a lot of speedy scrambling up and down very steep paths. A big thank you goes to everyone who has supported them and big congratulations to Emma and Catherine for completing it!
Many congratulations also go to Matt Harris who completed the London Marathon for George's Foundation in April. He said it didn't hurt that much but we don't believe him! A massive thank you goes to all of you who have supported him and to Matt for his brilliant fundraising.
A big thank you also goes to the lovely people at Sandy Lane Farm who fundraised for us with their lambing day at Easter. It was a great day out for everyone. Thank you for the support!
Next up this summer we are delighted to have five amazing riders taking on the 100 mile Ride London Cycle challenge. Good luck everyone!
Many of the projects we have supported have sent us recent feedback including -
Blue Elephant Theatre - The Blue Elephant "Speak Out" project has just completed its third year of funding and we are very pleased to report that the work has recieved excellent feedback from the many young people, teachers and youth workers involved. The project instigates discussion about mental health among young people and possible strategies for dealing with issues that arise in this area. Many teachers particularly have cited the need for this support in the communities in SE London where they work.
SeeSaw childhood bereavement support - SeeSaw have recently sent a report about their work with bereaved children and their families. Their 12 volunteer support workers made over 220 home visits in the last year and the demand for the service continues to grow. One event they organise is a meet up for families coping with bereavement and one father reported that "It was so good to meet other Dads raising children alone and meeting others who really "get it"."
Pump Aid - the two new water pumps in Malawi that we funded with Pump Aid have been implemented and will be supporting a large community in the Kasungu District. An important part of Pump Aid's work is also a hygeine and sanitation improvement education project which has been shown to have excellent results in effecting behaviourial change that will impact the health and life chances of many generations to come.
Alder Hey Children's Hospital - we provided funding for three parent beds enabling families to stay in the room with their child recieving treatment, often over long periods of time and in some cases in the first few weeks of life. One family whose child has been in the hospital for 18 months reported that the new facilities were a huge improvement saying "it's more homely and doesn't look like a hospital, it's fantastic".
Wellchild - we were very glad to support the Wellchild Helping Hands Programme which transforms spaces at home for children living with life-limitting illness and disability. They are able to change gardens and outside spaces into safe and secure places for individual children's needs, often where it has previously not been safe for that child to play outside at all. This helps to boost confidence, health and self-esteem, one Mum explained "it's a little bit of normality for her to be able to do what other kids do and now her friends can come round more easily too".
Thank you for your support! You are making all this possible. You can read about current projects here
Coronation Anthems Concert in aid of The George Oliver Foundation
A huge thank you goes to The Great Milton Singers for their fantastic concert at Great Milton Church. The choir performed an uplifting selection of Handel's Coronation Anthems, including the memorable Zadok The Priest. The anthems were also complemented by music from the brilliant musicians of wind ensemble Syrinx, playing a fantastic and eclectic range of music. As well as wonderful string quartet Bagatelle treating us to some beautiful pieces. It means a huge amount to have this support for George's Foundation and even more so in a place that is important to all our family. A masssive thank you goes to musical director Kate Billimore and all the brilliant musicians and singers who were part of the event. Thank you!
Cycling for George's Foundation
A massive thank you goes to Hugh Dixon who completed the epic 150 mile "Coast to Coast" ride for George's Foundation this summer. The ride starts in Cumbria and travels literally up (extremely steep) hill and down dale for 150 miles finishing on the East coast near Whitby. 150 miles in one day! They were riding for 9 hours 27 mins apparently, truly a lot of pedalling... An amazing achievement THANK YOU!
Also pedalling for George's Foundation Emma Cook, Selena Strudwick and Emily Oliver (George's Mum) sucessfully completed 100 miles in the 2015 Ride London 100. The ride started at the Olympic Park, continued out into the famous Surrey Hills (ouch) and back to finish on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace. The weather was much kinder this year but the heat wasn't much fun towards the end, tackling an absolutely packed Box Hill at 70 miles with the sun blazing down took serious effort! They all completed it well within the time limit and it was a proud day for everyone. Thank you all for your support and congratulations everyone!
In our 2015-16 year we supported the following projects -
- New "parent beds" for intensive care unit at Alder Hey Children's Hospital
- Support for SeeSaw children's bereavement charity in Oxfordshire
- Blue Elephant "Speak Out" project extended school tour and new teaching resource
- Two new clean water pumps and associated hygiene behaviour education projects with Pump Aid
- Education project for Syrian refugee children in Northern Jordan with War Child
War Child is one of the only charities that works specifically with children in the world's most dangerous war zones. We know everyone has been particularly affected by the scenes of devastation and destruction coming from Syria. We have contributed funding to War Child who are carrying out a 13 month project of life skills and psychosocial skills to refugee Syrian children living in Northern Jordan. These are children that have not only been displaced, unable to return to their homes, but they have fled fighting only to find themselves in a refugee camp environment unable to access any form of education. You can read more about the project here
Alder Hey Children's Charity
Alder Hey Children's Charity is a charity linked to the hospital of the same name. Alder Hey Hospital is the focal point for children's health services in the North of England, and supports hundreds of families every year. As part of the new development we have made a grant of £6,000 to purchase Parent Beds, which will allow parents to stay in their children's rooms with them, not only during short stays, but also during longer stays. It makes them and their children more comfortable during incredibly stressful times and allows parents to remain with their children as much as they need to.
See Saw is Oxfordshire's child bereavement charity. They help children with counselling and support leading up to and following the death of a parent or sibling. They aim to provide children and young people with the tools they need to deal with the emotional, psychological and mental health problems that can arise following a childhood bereavement. Our funding is for part of See Saw's Volunteer Support Works Project that ensures children can receive support in their own home wherever that is. You can read more about this project here
This was our third year of supporting Blue Elephant and the excellent work they do with children and young people in South London. Blue Elephant work with local young people to develop interactive performances that tackle the big issues they are facing every day. The performances then tour to local schools creating a forum for discussion of these issues. The work we have funded has been widely well received by the schools, youth groups and young people. The work looks specifically at areas of mental health and ways to cope with difficulties in this area. You can read more about this and the previous projects here
Pump Aid is a charity that uses "simple" pump and washer technology to provide communities in Malawi with access to clean water. Crucially they also address the whole cycle of water use - by addressing child toilet facilities and working to implement a programme of hygiene behaviour change with care givers, parents and families. This work all combines to improve health, reduce the spread of water borne diseases, improve nutrition and sanitation and generally create a better living environment for all. We have provided funding for two new Pumps and complete community projects to be run. You can read more here.
A massive thank you to everyone who came and supported the Cafe Oliver fundraising night at Conway Hall. Also huge thanks to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets and all the amazing helpers on the night. We couldn't have done it without you! We were honoured on the night to have the amazing Anna-Jane Casey performing for us, as well as incredible magic from John Bulleid and piano solos from James Hodgson. We are extremely delighted to say we raised well over £7500 which has far exceeded any expectations. Thank you everyone for the fantastic support! You can see all the photos here (photos by Jenny Chaichian)
In 2014/15 we supported Blue Elephant Theatre's new "Speak Out" workshop tour . The team worked with a small group of young people in South East London to develop a new workshop style project that looks at difficulties some children and young people in inner city areas commonly face coping with challenging emotions and anxiety. The tour was extremely well recieved in schools with teachers saying how relieved they are for the children to be given an opportunity to look at these issues. Many of the teachers said that they do not feel they have sufficient training or resources to work with children themselves in this area. We attended one workshop and it was brilliant to see the level of engagement and enthusiasm from the young people about this challenging subject matter.
We also attended a Sohana Research Fund event where the clinical researchers themselves reported back about the fantastic progress that is being made thanks to Sohana Research Fund's relentless fundraising and efforts. Although Sohana's condition is relatively rare, the kind of research developments that are being looked into have far-reaching consequences for a great many life-limitting skin conditions, including skin cancer. It was inspiring to see the energy and belief these researchers have for what they are doing and in what they think they can achieve.
The Big House development project supporting young care leavers also happened in spring 2015. The Big House specifically supports this marginalised group of young people, who have spent much or all of their childhood in a looked-after environment. We went to see an incredible performance of their piece "Politrix" at Hackney Downs Studios. The piece was based on the real stories of the performers themselves and their life experiences, while also linked to their relationships with politics, politicians and the state. It was incredible to see such powerful performances from young people working in this way for the very first time in their lives. The performance was one part of the 12 week project that we part-funded. The full project looks at many different areas for supporting young people making the transition to adult life outside the care system including nutrition, conflict resolution and employment.
One To One Children's Fund, South Africa
We are really pleased to have these pictures of the "light delivery vehicle" that we provided funding for to support the crucial work of the community health workers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Ms Liziwe Mbalo (pictured) is the nurse using the vehicle daily to access the communities in great need of her help. Many children here are living with HIV and without proper treatment and access to medical supplies they will not be able to live a full and healthy life. The health workers' roles also include assessment of social situation and facilitating access to education through the broader work of the charity in that area.
Sick Children's Trust new "Home from Home" completed
In 2014 Sick Children's Trust completed their latest development providing vital accomodation to parents of seriously ill children. The existing SCT "home from home" facility supporting Sheffield Children's Hospital was regularly unable to meet demand and was oversubscribed by more than ten families in need each night. The mayor of Sheffield opened the new "Magnolia House" facility and each year it will benefit over 350 families, enabling them to stay near their child at a crucial time. The George Oliver Foundation contributed funding for one bedroom in the new facility (pictures below), we are really pleased to have been able to support this important development.
Mark's Fundraising Challenge - 12 bikes in 12 months...
From April 2013 to March 2014 Mark (George's Dad) tackled a new challenge for George's Foundation, he rode from London to Brighton every month but on a different bike each time. The bikes included a BMX, a Brompton, a recumbant and a "Boris bike". He created the highest number of yells from car windows / the pavement on the lovely blue and yellow BMX, while getting to the top of Ditchling Beacon on a weighty Boris bike with just 3 gears raised a lot of cheers! Undoubtedly the most challenging (and most painful!) was the recumbant ride requiring an entirely different set of riding skills and mucle power, it's no exageration to say Mark struggled to walk for 24 hours after! The final ride to bring the total to 12 was a tandem ride with Emily. The pictures below are of the 12 bikes and the 12 times Mark got to Brighton Pier.
A massive thank you goes to everyone who rode with Mark and everyone who supported him along the way. You can read all about the adventure and see more pictures in Mark's blog here
100 Greatest Cycling Climbs / "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 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