Royal recognition for Norfolk father's decade-long battle against child poverty
PUBLISHED: 15:42 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 27 November 2018
A Norwich father has celebrated a decade of helping thousands of vulnerable children across the world's poorest regions with a gala hosted by a royal duo.
Street Child UK marked the milestone with a gala dinner held at Kensington Palace on November 22, with royal guests and charity patrons Sarah, Duchess of York and Princess Eugenie in attendance.
It was the royals’ first appearance at a Street Child UK event after they became ambassadors for the charity earlier this year.
The charity was founded in 2008 by Tom Dannatt from Norwich after he witnessed extreme child poverty on a trip to Sierra Leone.
What started as a mission to send 100 homeless children to school grew into a global revolution spanning 10 countries, helping more than 200,000 young people access education and a further 15,000 families set up businesses in their home towns.
In recognition of the charity’s extensive aid work, the UK government is doubling all donations received between now and February 21 2019 as part of its aid match-fund initiative.
Mr Dannatt said: “This is quite simply the best birthday present ever and a wonderful way to celebrate Street Child’s journey from 100 to 200,000 children and we are ambitious to do so much more in the next 10 years.”
Count Me In, which Street Child described as its “most ambitious appeal yet”, focuses on training teachers and refurbishing classrooms in impoverished areas and getting resources such as uniforms and books to students.
The government fund-matching is set to have a big impact on what the charity can provide.
On its website, the charity explained a £15 donation would become £30, enough to cover school fees, uniform and learning materials for one child.
A donation of £40, raised to £90 by the fund-match scheme, would provide learning materials for an entire class.
Mr Dannatt said: “Through education we give children the skills and knowledge to build a better future. The only way to ensure tomorrow is better than today is with education.”
The charity is aiming to raise £2 million from the public.
Give before February 21, 2019 and public donations to Street Child’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign will be matched by the UK Government.