#ConnectingHRAfrica – I WILL make a sustainable difference

Updated: 27th May 2016

On 21st April I learned that I had been selected to be one of ten people people chosen to go to Uganda to help street kids have a chance in life. You can read more here on why I applied and here for the full insight into this wonderful cause.

To volunteer for eight days with Retrak will make a fundamental and sustainable difference to the lives of children who, through no fault of their own, are fighting for survival on the streets.

Street children keeping warm

I am enormously grateful for all of the support I have received so far. I’ve raised £880.00 in direct donations to my Virgin Money Page and £15.00 through text donations

An example of how to donate £20 via text, if you wish to: please type CHRA50 £20 (and send to 70070).

I have £3,105.00 to raise to meet my target and 106 days to do it in. £2000 for Retrak and I’m stretching myself to raise a further £2000 for Team Margot.

The pressure is on! I CAN do it.

I am very thankful to HR Zone who published my blog on their site last week and to MCA Insight who included my post in their newsletter to members. The The Publican’s Morning Advertiser included coverage in their Charity Round-Up, too.

My trade and professional bodies, the BII, ALMR and CIPD are all supporting on social media, sharing my blogs with their members. I am very grateful for their support.

I would be delighted to discuss further media opportunities and can be contacted on 07880 198 348. Raising awareness, as well as funds, for these great causes is paramount to their success.

I have been supported by three companies, so far, and I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to ITK Recruitment who are experts in Hospitality and Catering Recruitment,  Coventry’s friendliest gym Toe 2 Toe Knockout Boxing / MMA Academy and Simon Hulstone, Michelin Starred Chef and Owner of The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay and Casual Dining Group for their kind sponsorship.

ITK Recruitment
toe 2 toe
Toe 2 Toe Boxing Academy
Simon Hulstone
Elephant Restaurant, Torquay
Casual Dining Group

I am also very appreciative of Darting Legend Chris Mason. Chris has offered an exhibition to help me raise funds for Connecting HR Africa. More on this event, to follow.


Add to this my Skydive on 30th July (Live Your Life Day),  Wolf Run in September and I’m on to a great start. I will not rest on my laurels though. Pub quizzes, raffles, auctions, boot sales….you name it. It’s happening.

Our Connecting HR Africa team is formed by these very fabulous, kind and giving people and I’ve linked to their fundraising pages below:

Alice Cowell

Helena Hounslow

Hils Willcox

Lisa Leighton

Katrina Collier

Amy Littlefair

Kate Griffiths-Lambeth

Milena Tekaste

Sophie Tothill


To give you an idea of what we will experience when we all get to Uganda and what you are donating for Ian and Retrak have shared their insight with us:

“Day 1 will be a briefing at the drop-in centre followed by an afternoon of playing sports/crafts/activities with the kids. From then on, we will spend most of the rest of the week divided across 3 Retrak centres:

Drop-in centre which is the most challenging environment as the kids have been fighting for survival on the streets and are wary of trusting anybody. A number of them will be struggling with drug addiction (mostly sniffing fuel). Although they can be challenging, it is a real joy to start to catch a glimpse of them becoming kids again.

Tudabujja is a half-way house, where the kids have been with Retrak for a little while and have been working with their counsellors and social workers. They are in the process of getting ready to be re-integrated with their families (if we can find them and it is safe) or to be helped get ready for independent living. We will see lots of smiling happy faces in this group.

  • Clothes (t-shirts, shorts, elasticated waists are good so they will last). Nothing too big or baggy though. Age 5 upwards
  • Sanitary pads (not tampons)
  • Girls bras and pants are really helpful. Crucially, they must be plain i.e not lacy / sexualised in any way
  • Shoes / trainers. Open shoes such as sandals are most preferable as they allow for the children’s feet to grow in them.
  • Footballs
  • Educational DVDs e.g. national geographic
  • Simple story books with a low reading age (for beginners at English) / educational books
  • Football kits
  • Educational flash cards
  • Coloured pens, pencils and paints
  • Towels
  • Music speakers
  • Mini sewing machine (really helpful! As can be used for skills training)
  • Play materials like goals
  • Sports uniforms (jerseys)
  • Knitting threads – wool / cotton etc
  • Aprons for cooking demos
  • Water guns
  • Soccer boots
  • World Map
  • Children’s Plastic Hockey game 
  • Scrabble board

Things the kids will LOVE:

  • Nail varnish
  • Skipping ropes
  • Loom bands
  • Transfer tattoos (they should like my real ones, then!)
  • Face paint (white / yellow is best as dark colours don’t who up on dark skin)
  • Paper plates to make into masks
  • PVA glue and craft materials
  • Chalks
  • Haribo to use as prizes for games / competitions
  • Mini toy cars (the boys all obsess with these!)
  • P.E style bollards to use for relay races
  • A parachute
  • Playdough
  • Bubbles
  • And any other kids games that can be run in a group!

and if you need a reminder about the great work Retrak do, please watch this.


This epic fundraising effort will not be achieved without the very kind and generous donations from each of you. THANK YOU!

Jo Smith, Jacqui Price, Paula and Daz Reilly, Babeta Schneiderova, Ben Evans and Max, Annette Hill, Karen Wilson, Sue Medlock, Yaser Martini, Janice Keyes, Mark, Mum, Dad and Kyle Hewitson, Simon Bottomley, Mary Millar, Leighton Brady, Anonymous (I know), Dawn Smedley, Paul Walsh, Ade McIlvar, Karin Selter, Gem Reucroft, Scott and Kate Keene, Michelin Starred Chef Simon Hulstone who is the most awesome owner of The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay and Tim Doubleday at Casual Dining Group.


I genuinely appreciate you reading this post and if you’ve got this far, HOORAH. Every penny and item that you are able to donate is heart-felt. Here’s a little message from me.

I WILL make a sustainable difference.

Love to you all


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Widow, Cats, Family, People Stuff, Exec Coach, Food Nerd, Gin Queen.

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