Welcome to The George Oliver Foundation.
The George Oliver Foundation raises funds to support projects that help improve the lives of children and young people in the UK and abroad.
Each year we fund a range of projects supporting children and young people in areas covering health and education in the UK and abroad. Recent projects include Soundabout Music Workshops for disabled children, Home Play support with Haven House Children's Hospice and a project for a new classroom at a school in Malawi with Masambiro UK. You can read more about all of the projects we fund here.
We set up The George Oliver Foundation in 2010 after our 14 month old son George died suddenly of a rare illness. We hope to create something positive in George's name and bring something better from our sadness.
10 Challenges for George
3rd April 2018 would have been George's 10th Birthday and to mark this Mark and Emily have taken on a year of 10 different challenges, trying to raise £10,000 for George's Foundation. We have been accompanied by some very brilliant friends and family throughout the year. We completed the challenges on 14th April 2019 and we are delighted to say we have achieved over the target - with gift aid The George Oliver Foundation is recieving an amazing £12,637! There is more about the challenges, with photos etc below.
Huge thank you to everyone far and wide who has supported in this, so many people we don't know at all. We are incredibly grateful for the support. We feel like George would be very proud to see what everyone has achieved. This fundraising achievement means we are able to fund two extra projects this year (2019/20) which is a fantastic result.
We set up George’s Foundation in 2010 and since then you have helped us to raise more than £300,000 to fund over forty projects supporting children and young people. The George Oliver Foundation is 100% voluntary and all funds raised go to the projects we support each year. We hope that from our sadness we can create something good. Thank you for your support!
10 Challenges for George –
Chiltern 3 Peaks 18 mile walk – Emily, Ruth, Emma J, Sue, Jess, Laura & Gemma - completed
4 rounds of golf in a day (530am - 10pm, 26 miles total) – Mark & Steve – completed
Matagalls to Monserrat 84km walk in 24 hours – Mark, Jamie and Tim – completed
100 mile South Downs cycle challenge – Emily, Gemma, Emma & Ellie – event cancelled and replaced with 76 mile Chiltern ride, completed
Cycle and walk the full Ridgeway (90 miles) in two days – Mark & Guy - completed
Ride the "Leith Hill Octopus", eight different hill climbs all finishing at the highest point in Surrey (the top of Leith Hill) 58 miles, climbing 6000ft – Mark & James - completed
To form a choir and put on a public performance – Emily, Tom, Siobhan & friends – completed
To achieve a yellow belt in Karate (starting from nothing) – Emily – completed
Joint challenge - 85km Tandem ride - riding from our old house in London where we lived with George to Oxfordshire where we live now - completed
How we got on....
First Challenge done! On Saturday 12th May Emily, Emma, Gemma, Ruth, Laura, Sue and Jess walked 19 miles of the Chiltern Ridegway covering the three biggest hills on the route - Whiteleaf Hill, Coombe Hill and finishing at Iving Hoe Beacon. It was a tough day with a lot of rain but also a really beautiful route. Huge thank you to everyone who supported it is so much appreciated!
Second Challenge done! On Friday 6th July Mark and Steve Hayes set off at 430am to tackle what is known as "The Open in a day" golf challenge. They successfully completed 4 rounds of golf back to back, with 14 hours on the golf course, walking an estimated 26 miles on one of the hottest days of the year. Well done guys! Huge thank you to everyone who supported them.
Third Challenge done! On Saturday 15th September Mark set off with James Clement and Tim Buley on a challenge to walk the 84km distance between Matagalls and Monserrat in Spain. The challenge takes place every year and is (thankfully) incredibly well supported with food and first aid stops through the night. They walked for 21 hours in total finallly arriving in Monserrat at 1pm on Sunday. All of us very relieved they made it mostly in one piece apart from the most horrible blisters ever seen! Massive thank you to everyone who has supported.
Fourth Challenge done! 76 mile Chiltern cycle ride - Ellie Owen, Emma Cook, Gemma Foreman and Emily were due to take part in the Velo South event on 23rd Sept but it was cancelled due to storms and yellow weather warnings on the route. We were left wondering if it might have been a better option than Sat 6th Oct when we attempted a 100 mile route in the Chilterns instead! It rained from the moment we set off at 8am until we were finally beaten 8 hours later. The cold temperatures and dangerous road conditions made it an incredibly tough challenge and without the benefits of an organised event it was a very hard day. We decided we had to stop after 76 miles, but that's still 122km which sounds better! We were all very sad not to complete the full 100, but on the day we had it was just impossible. Thank you so much to everyone who has been so supportive and kind about this, we really appreciate it!
5th Challenge done! The weather has really not been on our side in any single one of these challenges! Mark and Guy put in an incredible effort cycling a massive 68 miles off road in a gale force storm on 13th October. It took 9 hours but they managaed to meet us for some hot food before they settled down to sleep the night in hammocks in the woods (!) Unfortunately the rain started hammering down at 4am so even with a tarpauline they were soaked from the start. By 10am they had to stop having completed 6 miles on foot. But an amazing effort by both considering the autumn storms in full effect once again. Massive well done guys!
6th Challenge done! On 2nd march Mark and James took on the "Leith Hill Octopus" a different kind of cycle challenge, riding eight different ways up the infamous Leith Hill in Surrey. It's the highest climb of the beautiful Surrey hills and for those up for the challenge there are eight different ways to scale it... They rode 58 miles in total covering over 6000ft in height, that's Scafell Pike and Snowdon put together! Huge thank you to everyone who has supported.
7th Challenge done! The George Oliver Foundation Choir officially performed on Sat 30th March in London. The brilliant Tim managed to teach 17 of us four part harmony on four songs - Queen "Radio Gaga", "When I Grow Up" from Matilda, "You Give A Little Love" from Bugsy Malone and The Beatles "All You Need Is Love". We had big range of ability in the group and somehow managed to get it together for the night with everyone working really hard to achieve this. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported and the amazing choir - (L to R from Top) Matt, Zac, Tom, Tom T, Pete, Bill, Rich, Rodrigo, Emily, Polly, Siobhan, Sophie, Chloe, Ruth, Tim, Claire, Gemma, Jess, Sarah - thank you so much for giving your time and making the night sucha great success! You can see a little cip of the action here
8th Challenge done! On what would have been George's 11th birthday I finally graded for my yellow belt in karate. I trained for about 9 months, with a few set backs in between. It was a steep learning curve for me as I have never done martial arts of any kind and it doesn't come naturally! I did really enjoy the process though, however tough. Big thank you to Chris & Julia for their support and to everyone else for all the encouragement.
Challenge 9 & 10 - Final Challenge - done!
For our final challenge we did a joint challenge on our much-loved tandem. We got this bike in the summer after George died as we spent a lot of time on our own and we needed to get out and do something but I was too slow to keep up with Mark on my own bike. We had it rebuilt a few years ago but when we first bought it it was a battered 1980s tandem and we went on it everywhere, Cornwall, France, Norfolk and Bristol. It helped us a lot and it is good to still be riding it today. For this final of the 10 challenges we rode 84km from our old house in London where we lived with George, back to where we live now in Oxfordshire. The weather for once was perfect so apart from the Chlitern Hills (pain!) it was a good day and a great way to finish the challenges. Clip here
We are so grateful to everyone for their support over the last year, we are really glad to have found a positive way to mark George's 10th Birthday. We have news of our 2019/20 project funding coming very soon. THANK YOU! https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/10forgeorge
Big thank you to the brilliant Erwan Fournis, Rob Davies and Nick Prior who completed the Ride London 100 2018 in July. In the middle of the biggest heatwave since 1976 they somehow ended up riding in torential rain with an average temp of 12degrees so the effort was even more impressive ! Huge thank you to everyone who has supported them and well done guys !
A further thank you goes to everyone who supported the George Oliver Foundation Christmas cards, we sold more than ever and raised well over £1000 which will go into 2019 funding, being announced soon. Thank you to everyone far and wide who has been supporting and for all the lovely messages about the cards.
Also big thank you to Sophie Brigstocke's brilliant choir, singing carols for us at Waterloo East in December and hopefully bringing some lovely music to everyone on a Tuesday evening.
We are also sending much love to the friends and family of Deborah Rogers, a long term supporter of George's Foundation and a great and much loved friend of us personally. Very much missed and always an inspiration x
Family Fun Run 2018
Massive thank you to everyone who attended the Fun Run! It was incredibly hot but also great fun. Well done to everyone who took part, running / scooting / cycling along the Phoenix Trail. We had really impressive efforts from everyone including excellent run times from Tess Foreman and Alex Booker and really impressive cycling from Iris Foreman and Coco & Henry Dixon. It was especially lovely to see all the youngest children joining in on scooters and putting in so much effort to go the whole distance. Well done everyone!
Thank you also to everyone near and far who supported the raffle. We raised almost £2000 with the event which we just couldn't do without all your fantastic support, thank you! The funds raised will go to the projects we support, like the ones you can read about here
The Fun Run 2019 will be on Sunday 9th June - please join us !
Project funding 2018
In 2018/19 we have funded these four projects, covering a range of work with children and young people.
MASAMBIRO-UK Building four toilet blocks to create a cleaner and healthier learning environment for over 460 pupils in Malawi Kunyanja Secondary School is a wonderful success story. Over 14 years Masambiro UK has helped create an outstanding school in an area largely deprived of secondary education. The school now includes a science laboratory, a library, an examination hall and a community garden. A bursary system is also well established and excellent exam results have ensured much greater access to university education. Several former pupils have now returned from university to teach at the school.
Supporting a disadvantaged child through the Cornish-based ‘Realising Ambition’ project
We are very glad to be supporting Trelya for a second year. Trelya provide one to one mentoring and support for specific children in need. The project gives these children a chance to make better choices – in health and lifestyle, in developing self-control, and learning to adjust to different situations. Above all giving the child consistent care and love from a trusted adult over a long term period. Their results speak for themselves and you can read all about their work here.
HOT LINE MEALS SERVICE (LONDON)
Setting up Yummy Meals to Make Yummy Kids and provide freshly cooked nutritious meals to economically disadvantaged young people Hot Line Meals Service is a voluntary run organisation that provides daily, hot nutritious meals to people who are unable to shop or cook for themselves. Our funding will enable them to take referrals of a further 15 children in need of this invaluable support. The importance and huge benefits of a daily, hot and nutritious meal for children are well documented.
WAMBA COMMUNITY TRUST
Providing funding for a new classroom and other equipment for pupils at Ntepes Pre and Primary School Wamba Community Trust works to provide the essential infrastructure for children to benefit from a good education in a rural part of Kenya. These developed facilities result in better school attendance and an increase in opportunities for learning. Wamba have been working in this community for 15 years and have excellent systems in place to make sure all work is sustainable with benefits for the long term.
You can read more detail about these projects and all the projects we've funded on the projects pages You can help us support more projects like these! To find out more click here
If you are thinking of taking on a challenge or would like to get involved in any of our fundraising we would love to hear from you! email@example.com
100 Greatest Cycling Climbs / "100 Hills for George"
In 2012 Mark Oliver became the first person ever to complete Simon Warren's "100 Greatest Cycling Climbs". It was a year long challenge to cycle up all 100 hills in the book from the Scottish Mountains to the South Downs. It was as much of a logistical challenge as it was a test of stamina, with Emily, dog Hobbs and later on George's sister Mila, along for the ride. We celebrated the end of the challenge with a group ride up Swain's Lane in Highgate where Simon Warren kindly joined us. According to the author (pictured with Mark below) Mark was officially the first person to complete "100 Greatest Cycling Climbs" within a year.
You can read Mark’s blog about the big adventure here www.100hillsforgeorge.blogspot.com and you can also see our photos of it all here Thank you to everyone who supported Mark's efforts!
George changed our lives forever and we hope that together we can all help change other people’s lives in his name. Thank you for your support.
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Registered Charity No. 1135701