An audience of more than 350 people gathered in London this month to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Change Foundation.
A total in excess of £85,000 has so far been raised and the figure is still rising – one anonymous donor matched money raised by the event’s live auction, which saw competitive bidding for prizes such as an island villa holiday, a ski break and VIP music packages.
During the Gala Dinner, held at the Royal Leonardo Hotel, our charity’s CEO Andy Sellins revealed that for its 40th anniversary the charity will be working in its 40th different country – Poland, with a programme for Ukrainian refugees.
On stage, Andy paid tribute to all those who have been part of a success story which has seen the charity grow from staging cricket matches on London council estates to a global organisation with a reach encompassing marginalised young people, from those at risk by county lines drug gangs to former child soldiers. He said: “It’s incredible to see so many people here that have all played such an important part in making the charity what it is today.”
Andy was joined on stage by our Chair of Trustee’s Vicky Lowe, who has been a dedicated part of the board for nearly 10-years, with her dedicated work helping to transform the charity. She said: “This evening has been an amazing celebration. It’s been wonderful to bring so many supporters of our charity together, especially after the past few years of Covid.”
The evening was hosted by BBC journalist Simon Mundie, who is behind the podcast “Life Lessons: From Sport and Beyond”, which uses sport to explore life’s bigger questions. This theme formed part of a panel on “The Power of Sport” that featured cricketer Ravi Bopara, Arsenal footballer Rachel Yankey, TCF Ambassador and Rudimental DJ Locksmith , Coach Mentor Grace Ekewubia and our CEO Andy.
All agreed that sport can be a fundamental force for positivity in the lives of young people and can significantly contribute to their development as characters as well as provide and outlet energy, career and life direction, the ability to teamwork and take on personal responsibility. Sharing his thoughts on the evening Simon said: ”It was an honour to host this event. Being able to stand on stage tonight was a real honour and the video in particular had a real impact on me.”
The much awaited premiere screening of our 40th Anniversary Film was also a highlight of the event. The film features seven young people from our charity and their families and explores their inspiring personal journeys before, during, and after being a part of our programmes. You can watch the film for yourself HERE.
The evening proved to be an incredible success thanks to the support of our sponsors Berkeley Group, United Business Group and New World Technology. Glenn Ballard is the founder of New World Technology and an Ambassador of our charity. He shared: “The Change Foundation allows everyone to be who they want to be. The work of the charity is inspiring and tonight has reminded everyone why this charity is so important to support.”
Terry Woods is CEO of United Business group and also a dedicated Ambassador of our charity. Terry shared: “Thank you to The Change Foundation for letting us be part of your 40th Anniversary celebrations. We all had a fantastic night & a brilliant panel discussion “The Power of Sport to Change Lives” was a particular highlight. We look forward to many more successful years working in partnership.”
The Change Foundation would also like to thank our creative partners ‘Our Secret Lab’ for helping to create the film, our dedicated Trustees, Ambassadors and staff, everyone that took part in the auction and all that joined us for the evening. The funds raised will allow the charity to continue supporting more marginalised and at-risk young people. Thank you to everyone for helping to be a part of the change.