Chairman’s New Year message
Philip Green shares his thoughts on Sentebale’s achievements in 2011 and our ambitions for the year ahead.
I have had the great pleasure being the Chairman of Sentebale for the last year, during this time we have achieved a number of significant milestones that I wish to share with you as we begin this new year.
Our special group of local community partners in Lesotho continue to make a tremendous difference to hundreds of children on a daily basis, as reported on our website and in the various news bulletins to friends of Sentebale. Most notably, the arrival in Lesotho of our International Programmes Advisor, Carmel Gaillard, and the effective deployment of the internationally recognised Child Status Index, has further strengthened the quality of our programmes. This success has been acknowledged by our partners and other organisations that look to learn from us. But the best manifestation of our success is the improvement in the health and wellbeing of the children themselves.
Over the past twelve months, the sources and diversity of Sentebale’s income have continued to expand, reflecting the success and credibility of our programmes on the ground, which are generating interest from a wider audience. To build on this success, we have appointed our first full-time Director of Development, Dale Clark, who brings commercial investment experience following a career at Cancer Research UK. Under his leadership we look forward to strengthening and developing relationships with donors to enable us to continue and increase the good work we are doing with our partners in Lesotho.
Kedge Martin, our CEO, has now decided to move on to her next professional challenge after three years with Sentebale. We are all very grateful to Kedge for everything she has done for the charity. Her expertise, dedication and commitment have been behind the charity’s transformation from its formative years into a dynamic and increasingly effective young organisation, helping save thousands of lives each year. We wish Kedge every success in her future.
I am very pleased to announce that we have now appointed Cathy Ferrier as our new Chief Executive, and she will join us in the spring. Cathy will be joining us from Oxfam where she has been Fundraising and Supporter Marketing Director as well as Deputy CEO. Prior to joining Oxfam in 2006, Cathy enjoyed success over 25 years in buying and marketing roles for leading retailers, including Borders, WHSmith and the Walt Disney Company.
I am also delighted that the Board of Trustees (Our Team) has been further strengthened with the appointment of five new Trustees during the course of the last several months which adds to Sentebale’s extensive range of skills and knowledge from various sectors:
• Larry Hirst C.B.E, ex-chairman of IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Larry has a number of roles that support his twin passions of educational improvement and information technology
• Nigel Cox, born in Zimbabwe, and ex-Managing Director of SABMiller’s operations in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe; Nigel later became Group Finance Director before retiring in 2010
• Alberto Piedra, ex-Head of Global Banking and a Member of the Management Committee at Dresdner Kleinwort
• Johnny Hornby, Founding Partner of top 10 UK Marketing Agency, CHI & Partners.
I am delighted to announce that this month, Baroness Lynda Chalker becomes a Trustee; Lynda brings a tremendous wealth of experience and knowledge in the overseas development arena, with a specific emphasis on Africa.
Finally, I would like to thank our small team in London and Lesotho for their dedication and hard work over the past year as well as our growing number of supporters – both donors and volunteers – on whose contributions Sentebale relies for its ability to help even more children. The challenges that the children in Africa face are not insurmountable if we continue to work together towards the common goal – that every child has a happy and hope-filled future. I believe that this is a commitment that we all share.
I look forward to another busy and productive year ahead, and wish you all a very happy New Year.
With very best wishes,
Chairman Board of Trustees