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 Wellchild, Blue Elephant Theatre and Carefree Kids. You can read more about the projects here.
One To One Children's Fund, South Africa
We are really pleased to have these recent pictures of the new light delivery vehicle that we have 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 assesment of social situation and facilitating access to education through the broader work of the charity in that area.
Ride London 100 + John O'Groats to Lands End
A big thank you goes to some amazing fundraisers who have completed great challenges for George's Foundation. Gemma & Guy Foreman and Luke Bristow rode the gruelling Ride London 100, in such epic weather conditions that the organisers were forced to cut the route short (luckily we managed to clock up 96 miles including riding to and from the event though anyway!). Mark and Emily (George's parents) also took part on their much loved tandem. Despite the torrential downpour we all completed the route and the sun even came out for a finish line photo. Thank you to everybody cheering on the day, people supporting us on facebook and for all the fantastic donations. We are really proud that we did it, thank you! You can see our team fundraising page here.
Big congratulations also go to the intrepid Elliott Sawford and his friends Sam Blackmore and Alastair Yates who decided to forego their summer holiday and ride from John O'Groats to Lands End instead. Not content with lying around on a beach the team rode 1000 miles in just 9 days without support (i.e. carrying all their stuff with them each day). An amazing achievement! Thank you so much to everyone who supported them. You can read about how they got on via our facebook page here.
New Project Funding 2014/15
We are really pleased to be supporting six new projects in 2014. Our charity year runs from April to April and each year many charities apply to us for grants for specific projects that they are trying to fund. Through our selection process we hope The George Oliver Foundation can support as many children in need as possible.
Our 2014/15 projects are -
- Support for the Wellchild “Helping Hands” project which carries out vital home improvement in the homes of seriously ill and disabled children.
- Funding for the one to one play therapy programme run by Carefree Kids in schools in Waltham Forest. Troubled or disadvantaged children are referred by their schools for this important support.
- A new “Speak Out” project with Blue Elephant Theatre, working with young people and schools to look at the issues they are commonly facing coping with mental health and emotional challenges.
- A funding contribution for the next phase of clinical research for Sohana Research Fund, looking into new treatments and ultimately a cure for children suffering with Epidermolysis Bullosa.
- A self-development and support project to help new young care leavers make the transition into the next stage of their lives, run by The Big House, a charity exclusively dedicated to providing support for this group of young people.
- A new light delivery vehicle for the Programme Coordinator and Community Health Workers working for the One to One Children’s Fund project in South Africa supporting children with HIV.
We know that each of these projects is run by excellent and dedicated people, bringing help directly to where it is desperately needed. We are really proud to be supporting each of them. You can read more detail about all of these on our projects pages.
Thank you for all your support, that is what has made all of this possible.
PPP Bulletin Croatia Ride
Congratulations to the riders who participated in the second PPP Bulletin cycle challenge. This year's event took the intrepid riders to Croatia where they covered well over 200 miles in four days including the "Hors category" climb (i.e. steep and long!) up 1760m in Biokovo National Park. Whilst the UK was basking in sunshine the riders battled strong head winds and wet weather. A great achievement by all who took part.
The fantastic fundraising by all involved has enabled us to support a further project this year. We are delighted to be able to support the great work of Re-Cycle, a fantastic charity working to support disadvantaged children and their famlies in Uganda. They provide reconditioned bicycles as well as bicycle maintenance training in areas where the main accessible transport is walking, completely transforming people's lives and the potential of their situations.
Many thanks to PPP Bulletin for choosing to support The George Oliver Foundation. Well done to all and thank you for the fantastic fundraising!
Sick Children's Trust new "Home from Home" completed
At the start of the year 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 in January 2014 and this year alone 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 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 has been riding from London to Brighton every month but on a different bike each time. The bikes have included a BMX, a Brompton, a recumbant and a "Boris bike". 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 has supported him along the way. You can read all about the adventure and see more pictures in Mark's blog here
You can also help us celebrate the end of the challenge on his "12 in 12" Just Giving page here. Thank you!
BET Project Update
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 toured local schools, community projects and youth groups. In light of the great success of this project BET were subsequently able to secure 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 is continuing.
We are very please to be supporting Blue Elephant Theatre again in 2014 with funding for a further "Speak Out" project looking in more detail at this important area. A recent study has shown that 15% of school children are facing mental health challenges and in many cases the support they need is not readily available. You can read more about the new project here
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!
War Child Policy Forum & Iraq Child Protection Alert
Mark was kindly invited to attend the War Child Policy Forum, part of the events to mark War Child's 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 had communication from War Child in response to the escalating violence and resulting humanitarian crisis in Iraq. War Child have released a new Child Protection Alert. The report offers an overview of the impact of the violence upon children and includes testimonies from their team in Iraq and members of their Youth Engagement Panel. The report is designed to raise awareness of the situation for children in Iraq amongst international actors, decision-makers, the media and general public. You can find the report here
Congratulations to our amazing fundraisers!
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.
One to One Children's Fund - Project Update
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. There is a picture of the bus below. You can read more about the project here.
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.”
War Child - project update
In 2011 and 2012 we supported a new education project for 54 girls 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 sent us these photos of the project after her trip there to oversee the completion of a project to refurbish local schools, as well as monitoring progress with this project. War Child do fantastic and difficult work throughout Iraq and we are really pleased to have supported them in this area. You can read more 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 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