Our patrons and celebrity supporters play a vital role in supporting our work to stop the institutionalisation of children.
They help in a variety of ways. They give their time by taking part in our fundraising events, they use their voice to help raise awareness about our work through our campaigns, and they give their money to fund our programmes around the world.
Our celebrity supporters include internationally acclaimed actress Kristin Scott Thomas, British TV presenter and Formula One reporter, Natalie Pinkham, and British journalist and broadcaster, Kate Adie.
Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer, author and motivational speaker who has supported Hope and Homes for Children since 2001, when he set out on a four-year expedition cycling around the world. Since then, he has canoed 500 miles down the Yukon River, walked the length of the holy Kaveri River in India, run the Marathon des Sables and completed an unsupported crossing of Iceland by foot and packraft. Alastair was the creator and curator of the hugely successful Night of Adventure, Hope and Homes for Children’s long-running, sell-out fundraising event.
Claire Wright has been supporting Hope and Homes for Children since 1998. She has visited many of the charity's projects around the world and witnessed first-hand their work. Over the years, she has organised numerous fundraising events around the country and supports others who fundraise for the charity. She has also taken part in many challenge events, including the Marathon des Sables. Claire also represents the charity at events as a speaker. She received an MBE for services to young people and charity in December 2022.
Dame Kristin Scott Thomas
Dame Kristin Scott Thomas DBE is an actress who has gained international recognition since the 1990s for her roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral and The English Patient. She has also worked in French cinema in films such as the thriller Tell No One and Philippe Claudel’s I’ve Loved You So Long. On stage in London and New York Kristin has had full houses and awards. She has lived in France since 1980 and brought up her three children in Paris. She was made an Officier of the Légion d’honneur in 2015.
David Furnish is a film director and producer. He is co-chief of Rocket Pictures with Sir Elton John. David is a contributing editor for Tatler magazine and a regular columnist for Interview and GQ. He also serves on the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Gordon McInally is a Past President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and has also served Rotary International as a Director. He has been a keen advocate of the work of Hope and Homes for Children for over 20 years, as has his wife, Heather, and their family. He has a particular interest in Africa, having visited several of its countries both for Rotary International and Hope and Homes for Children. Now retired from a busy career in Dental Surgery in Edinburgh, Gordon looks forward to having more time to carry out humanitarian work.
James Whiting gave up a law career to join our founders, Mark and Caroline Cook, shortly after they started Hope and Homes for Children. For ten years, he worked tirelessly and played a vital role in all aspects of our development. James is now Chief Executive of Doughty Street Chambers, the largest civil liberties and human rights focused barristers’ chambers in the UK. He sits on the board of Travalyst, founded by the Duke of Sussex to convene the world's largest travel companies to deliver sustainable travel solutions.
Since founding White Cube over two decades ago, Jay Jopling has been instrumental in repositioning London as a global centre for contemporary art. Support for Hope and Homes for Children comes not only from Jay himself, but runs throughout Jay’s family. Having visited our projects on numerous occasions, Jay, his mother Lady Jopling, also a Patron of the charity, and his daughter view the cause as very important to them, believing strongly in the value and significance of family.
Kate Adie OBE DL is a British journalist and broadcaster. Her most high profile role was that of Chief News Correspondent for BBC News, during which time she became well known for reporting from war zones around the world.
Gail Jopling was recruited into Hope and Homes for Children by Patron Claire Wright in the late 1990s to form a Support Group in North Yorkshire which she has run until 2023 when she became their Patron and handed the Chairmanship to Stephen Wearing. She is also very active with London events where she is with her husband the Rt Hon Lord Jopling, former Government Chief Whip and Minister of Agriculture.
General the Lord Richard Dannatt (GCB CBE MC DL) was a soldier for 40 years concluding his military career as Chief of the General Staff –the professional head of the British Army. Since retiring from active duty in 2009, he was Constable of the Tower of London until July 2016. In 2011 he became an independent member of the House of Lords. He is on a number of other boards in the private and charitable sectors, and holds other appointments including Chair of The National Emergencies Trust. He divides his time between London and his family home in Norfolk where he runs the family arable farm.
James Douglas-Hamilton (Baron Selkirk of Douglas PC, QC) is a Scottish Conservative peer who served formerly as MP for Edinburgh West, then MSP for the Lothians. Lord Selkirk was formerly Chair of our Edinburgh Support Group and became a Patron in 2005.
Dr. Mariana Dahan
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Mariana Dahan as an Ambassador for Hope and Homes for Children. Originally from the Republic of Moldova, Mariana Dahan is the founder and CEO of the World Identity Network (WIN); led the Identification for Development (ID4D) agenda of the World Bank –a global program which has resulted in $1 billion in lending and grants to developing countries; is a founding member of the Global Blockchain Business Council launched in 2017 at the World Economic Forum in Davos; and Dr. Dahan is also listed in the top 100 global Identity influencers for 2019.
Martin Bell OBE is a broadcaster, war reporter and former independent politician. He was the MP for Tatton from 1997 to 2001. Martin was reporting for the BBC throughout the Siege of Sarajevo, where Hope and Homes for Children began. He has been a supporter of the charity since the very beginning.
Matt was a Trustee of Hope and Homes for Children and subsequently Chair of Trustees from 2003 to 2009. He is now Strategic Communications Director at Heatherwick Studio, a global design practice of 260 makers and architects. He has previously held leadership roles with international NGOs, public bodies and a FTSE 100 business. Matt sits on the board of Local Trust, a 15-year lottery-funded programme pioneering new ways of building community. He is also chair and co-founder of Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair and creator of the Young London Print Prize.
Natalie Pinkham has been Sky Sports’ Formula One pit lane reporter since 2012. In 2011, Natalie made television of a very different kind when she returned to a Romanian orphanage she had previously worked in to find what became of an orphan called Mirela with whom she formed a bond 12 years ago. This journey was made into a documentary for Channel Five called The Lost Orphan: Mirela’s Story. It was through this that Natalie was introduced to our work and became a Patron in 2013.
Nick Hewer is a public relations consultant turned television personality, best known for his role as Lord Sugar’s advisor on the UK version of the popular BBC television show The Apprentice and as host of Channel 4’s Countdown. Nick has visited several of our overseas projects in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa, presenting fundraising films and helping to spread awareness of our work through the media.
Rick Foulsham CMG was Chief Executive of Hope and Homes for Children from 2006 to 2011. He was previously a career diplomat, with a special interest in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa. Rick is married with two children. He and his wife live in Perthshire.
Rukhiya Budden is a psychotherapist and mother to three girls. She grew up in an orphanage in Kenya. Her lived experience of the care system and work as a psychotherapist led her to undertake an MA in Child Adolescent and Family Therapy. By sharing her story at multi million-pound fundraising events, Rukhiya has shone a crucial light on the negative impact which orphanages have on early childhood development. Her public speaking and interviews with BBC, Sky News and the Telegraph have helped to inspire new supporters to our cause, from generous corporate partners to political decision makers.
Sir Don McKinnon
Sir Don McKinnon ONZ GCVO was Commonwealth Secretary General from 2000 to 2008. Duringa long career in politics in New Zealand, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. He lives in New Zealand with his wife Clare, Lady McKinnon, who became an active supporter and fundraiser for Hope and Homes for Children when the couple lived in the UK.