Our History

Hand in Hand was established in 1994 by a group of Christians in the UK, becoming officially registered with the Charity Commission in 1998.

It was originally formed when one of the present trustees, Dave Garlick, watched a video about the problems of street children and slum dwellers of Brazil, and was moved to do something about what he saw. Following a visit to Fortaleza in North East Brazil, Dave and his friends formed a support group to raise money and awareness for the project that he had seen, CBC University of Life. This support group consisted of Dave, Pete Davison, and Grant and Sue Smith. From this group came Hand in Hand as a registered charity, with each assuming positions as trustees.

Since December 1998 we have also been supporting a similar project in Kenya, ACK Daylove Childrens Centre. The support for this project arose when a group of young people from Essex visited Nairobi with Tearfund. Some of those on the team returned wanting to continue their involvement with the community they had been working in, and were keen to raise awareness and funds needed to expand its operation. Under the banner of Hand in Hand, two members of the Tearfund trip, Jon Bland and Daniel Jones, were able to continue their work with the Kenya project, and were later appointed as trustees.

Up until 2001 Hand in Hand was run solely by the trustees and other supporters on a purely voluntary basis. This all changed in November of that year, when Pete Davison stepped down as a trustee to become our first full time worker. This step was taken after additional funds and pledges from individuals, businesses and churches had been committed to Hand in Hand to cover the salary and office expenses this would entail. In so doing Hand in Hand, through Pete's hard work and absolute dedication, continued growing with a guarantee that funds donated to projects would be expended 100% to the projects as they had always been before.

Pete Davison provided the foundations for Hand in Hand to grow further, but in 2003 stepped down from his position of National Coordinator. He handed over the reigns in June 2003 to another trustee, Daniel Jones.

The appointment of Daniel coincided with Hand in Hand moving in to its first office (having previously been based in the Chairman and Secretary's home), kindly donated freely by Clifford Thames Limited at Springfield Lyons House in Chelmsford.

Since 2003 Hand in Hand has continued to grow steadily with new additions to the staff and to the board of trustees. In Sept/Oct 2004 the office team was strengthened by the part time assistance of Emma Demonakis (Income Manager) and Claire Rackham (Office Administrator), and again in April 2005 with the appointment of Clive Pickett as full time Development Manager.

In April 2006 Emma left Hand in Hand to support a new venture (Hand in Hand Trading Ltd.) with close associations to the charity. At the end of 2006 Hand in Hand relocated to a new office on the Reeds Farm Estate after three and a half years at Springfield Lyons House. Claire & Daniel left Hand in Hand in October 2007 and Adam Blowes joined as Promotions Manager in early 2008 to help develop the promotional material of the charity and help increase the participation of churches, schools and youth groups in its activities.

2010 was another year of change. In the early part of the year Adam moved on and Esther Gathogo was appointed as East Africa Development Manager based in Kenya. This move was part of Hand in Hand's strategic plan to add value and support to our project partners in East Africa as well as giving greater accountability to us as a charity. Hand in Hand Foundation is now fully registered as an operating NGO within Kenya. At the end of the year Clive retired having given 5 years to help Hand in Hand develop in our office structure and maintaining good relations with our project partners. Gillian Pickett also retired from managing our bookkeeping.

In 2011 Sue Smith stepped down as a Trustee to become the new UK Development Manager. The office is supported by various personnel; either employed, on a consultancy basis or as volunteers.

In August 2012 Hand in Hand moved into new offices which have been the dream of a local supporter that has finally come to fruition. Our thanks go to the Rimshot Trust for providing excellent facilities at a fraction of commercial rent rates.

We are continually amazed at what God has provided through Hand in Hand and the many lives that have been affected as a result. It is a real privilege to be involved in such work and we pray that we will continually see the outcome of giving some of the poorest people the opportunity to make their own choices.