It’s shaping up to be a very busy year already! Here are a few updates on some of the projects I’m involved with, all of which have come about as a result of the Secret Millionaire programme. I never believed this many opportunities would come up, and am so excited about how I am able to help in all these small ways. My hope is that I am able to inspire the wonderful people who have had the passion to set up charities, foundations and businesses aimed at helping others have a better life, and help them achieve and exceed their goals.
The Zambian High Commissioner came to Swindon recently and met some of the organisations that are raising money to provide support in Zambia. He’s now looking at ways in which the High Commission might be able to help these charities with tax efficiency etc. and facilitate their efforts.
The national charity 4 Children focused primarily on helping teenagers in 2008 and is going to be concentrating on families this year. The annual conference is on the 2nd & 3rd April, at Westminster and I’ve been invited to join their panel, which pitches to government and business representatives in order to secure funding. I’ve never done anything like that before and am so thrilled to have been asked! The charity have also asked if I will be involved in some of the media publicity surrounding the event – of course, I’d be delighted!
Make Your Mark with a Tenner is an incentive to encourage schoolchildren to become entrepreneurs and introduce them to business and making money. They’re loaned £10 for a month and have to find a way to make as much profit and social impact as possible from it in that time. Tomorrow I’m visiting a school in Swindon, along with a representative from the campaign, to help launch its first round of publicity in the area.
GWR Kids did such a great job raising money for children in Wiltshire last year, and I’m going along to a meeting they’re having in London on 27th February to help decide where the money they raised from their last few events can best be used.
In December I spoke at the National Black Womens’ Network Business event in Birmingham and was amazed to find just how great the need is for mentors and inspirational role models for black women – more than 50 women wanted me to be their mentor! I’m going to be keeping in touch with the organisation and try to help them move forward in certain areas.
The Book Bus foundation is a very small UK-based charity that takes a bus filled with books round schools, orphanages and small communities in Zambia, providing a mobile library service and distributing books where they’re most needed. The bus is amazing – it’s been decorated by Quentin Blake, who did all the illustrations for Roald Dahl’s books – and it’s staffed entirely by volunteers. Waterstones have recently said they will donate books to the charity, which is fantastic, and Jo, who runs the UK operation for the Book Bus has organised an event in April, that she’s asked me to speak at. I think this is a wonderful charity, and will certainly be getting involved in their plans to set up links between primary schools here and in Zambia.
And finally, some news from Toxteth, where things are progressing nicely: one of PPP’s associate mentors, who is a great friend of mine, has been up this month to give Dijuana some personal and business mentoring. And DCLP has now had their roof fixed and started the refurbishment of their premises, which I’m really pleased I was able to help them get underway with.
Photographs from various events I’ve been to over the past few months will be uploaded soon…
In these tough times, believe in yourself, stay positive and always greet people with a smile – remember, you attract what you give out.