I am honoured to be a patron of TUSK. Tusk’s mission is to amplify the impact of progressive conservation initiatives across Africa.
I have a deep, personal connection with Africa having travelled extensively throughout Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya and Uganda. In the latter, I trekked for days in the jungle to find Silverback Gorillas as part of a conservation project - it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and one that I hope my children will also have one day.
Having spent time in Africa reporting as a journalist and also presenting the wildlife documentary series, Big Cat, I have seen and heard first hand the devastating impact that poaching, habitat loss and human wildlife conflict are having on Africa's wildlife.
TUSK believe that local people and organisations are best positioned to address these threats, but are often under-resourced and lack the recognition they deserve. By partnering with leading and emerging conservationists across Africa, Tusk secures donor funding to invest in the best grassroots conservation initiatives – helping to increase their profile and maximise their impact.
To learn more about TUSK, click this link through to their website.
The health and wellbeing of children is incredibly important to me, and that feeling has only grown since becoming a parent myself. That is why I'm a passionate supporter of charities like Wellbeing of Women, Place2be, Sparks and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.
I am very focused on looking at how "adverse childhood experiences" or ACEs impact on the adults we become.
Understanding how childhood trauma impacts on us in later life - manifesting both physically and mentally - is one of the most pressing public health issues of our time and one I believe that urgently needs addressing by society as a whole.
I will write much more on this in due course. I hope to produce a documentary (or few!) next year as a result of my research.
Sparks is a charity that raises money to fund pioneering child health research across the UK, helping to find new treatments and cures for children and families who desperately need them.
Since 1991, Sparks have funded more than 285 ground-breaking child health research projects in over 90 hospitals, universities and research institutions across the UK and overseas.
SPARKS is one of the few charities that funds research into the wide range of conditions that can affect babies and children. It supports vital medical research that will:
- Increase the life expectancy of new born babies
- Reduce the health risks for babies born prematurely
- Combat common conditions such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy
- Develop more effective treatments for conditions affecting babies and young children
In February 2017, Sparks partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Charity merging their national research funds, making up to £2 million available. This is the largest fund in the UK dedicated to child health research, and will benefit children at GOSH, nationally and around the world.
I took part in the London Triathlon for SPARKS in 2005 and 2006. I found the latter tough going, not knowing I was suffering the effects of a parasitic bug at the time! But I was delighted to achieve my aim of completing the race following on from 2005's event where I was the first women out of the water in the Olympic relay triathlon.