Thoughts on New Ways at 25 years from Angela Docherty
My time (or my 26 years) with New Ways began in what might best be described as a ‘chaos’ of good intentions! But I am still here and loving it (mostly)!!
By the time I got involved midway through 1995 several of the founders were still studying in London although most moved to Africa at the end of that summer. I was invited to meet with Albert Salvans and others from our partner organisation to provide advice and guidance as I was administering the local homeless project at the time. After providing a strategy document that included suggestions for fundraising events, Albert asked if I would like to help organise some later that year! The start of our sponsored events which so many of you have been involved with. I very quickly found myself doing more and eventually in 1997 I was asked if I would like to take on the role of Chair when Albert moved to Turkana.
By the summer of 1996 we were able to fund our first project in a children’s home in one of slums of Nairobi and I also found myself in Kenya having first said I would never go to a country with so many wee beasties!! New Ways shortly thereafter became a key contributor to many of the initiatives our key partner and founders in the field, MCSPA, were undertaking, from major water infrastructure to the setup of crucial nutrition and healthcare programmes, agriculture and education.
Over the next few years, as a benefit of working in the City, I was able to attract and invite major donors to participate in our events and who then very generously supported those initial New Ways fundraising projects. Sponsorship for our first annual ball in 1997 came from Northern Trust who continued to sponsor a further 14 of the 21 balls, and we are indebted to them and many others who so generously gave their financial support, time and commitment and who, along with individual donors, made such a significant impact in those early years of New Ways and ultimately the projects we were able to fund.
In 1999/2000 I agreed to take on the role as CEO to help provide a focal point for our major fundraising endeavours with grant making trusts, individual benefactors and institutions as well as being able to develop the necessary infrastructure to drive the charity forward as a small but robust predominantly volunteer run UK NGO.
As I look back on a very busy and very quick 26 years, I realise I’ve got so much more out of it than I ever put in. The joy I get out of seeing first hand those who our projects support is uplifting. Just recently for example, it’s been fantastic to see teachers like Melania Cheseto who was educated through our projects more than ten years ago come back as a qualified teacher herself to educate a new generation of Turkana children. We also have 5 young ladies at University now – I couldn’t have imagined that on my first trip to Turkana in 1997.
Throughout the difficult times and the celebrations since I joined, I reflect on my mother who taught me that no matter what you have you can always give back as you will be enriched.
From the bottom of my heart I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has said yes to me when I asked for your time, talent and hard earned cash to help those in great need and our main take away is together we have made the world a better place for those we have help
with deep affection to each and every one of you,