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Investment reaps real profit for children

Investment reaps real profits for children

Chris and Natalie Letcher became involved with Plan International UK through their careers at Hobsons, where Chris was Group Managing Director. He led the international expansion of Hobsons and was responsible growing company profits from £4m to £12.5m, with Hobsons valued at £185m in 2008.

Chris’ keen eye for innovation and investment enabled him to successfully diversify the business and turn Hobsons into a world leader in the field of recruitment software supply. It was also thanks to him that Hobsons developed a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and chose Plan International UK as their partner of choice, funding a school every year with us for nearly a decade. When Chris and Natalie retired from Hobsons they wanted to continue their relationship with Plan International UK and decided to fund projects themselves.

“Both Natalie and I have visited developing countries and both of us agree how important and life-changing Plan International UK’s work is. At Hobsons we had always supported education projects with the charity and we know what a boost a quality education can be for children and their communities. We wanted to continue this with our personal giving and help more families provide their children with a better future.”

Since we began our support we too have pledged to support a school in Africa every year on an ongoing basis.

"We know how important it is to Plan International UK to be able to count on our regular support, and this really helps with their work planning.”

Chris and Natalie have a family and enjoy involving them in our work too. “When Plan International UK invited us to a film screening about the slums of Mumbai, I took my teenage daughter. My son and I also went to Ghana a year ago to see the pre-school we’ve supported there. He’s currently studying economics and is increasingly interested in business and development issues, so it was fantastic to be able to take him to experience life in Africa. We’re even hoping to arrange a family visit to Malawi in a couple of years’ time. It’s great to be able to broaden our children’s perspectives this way.”

We truly believe education is a gift for life. With this, children have a choice in how their futures will be. We are lucky enough to be able to work with Plan to give this opportunity to thousands of children, and urge you to do the same.

Chris and his son on their visit to Ghana in 2010

“We feel proud to be part of Plan International UK, which does such fantastic and diverse work right at the heart of the poorest communities in the world.

Seeing the work for yourself is rewarding, eye-opening, and downright uncomfortable at times, in the heat and on the bumpy tracks out to the villages!

"We spent a few days in a really rural part of Ghana where water was collected from rivers and streams and where people were living hand to mouth. Some of the villages are so remote you wonder how Plan International UK even knows of them. But Plan International UK overcomes the challenges and finds and empowers the people who need our support most. The relationships they build with the communities are really strong, and nowhere was this more evident that on our project visit.”

“I will never forget the day during our trip when I met a “Rights of the Child” group, at a Plan International UK supported school. Doris, a 15-year old girl who we met there was so bright, so eloquent, and so ambitious, I could not help but feel that she could be a future world leader.

I felt really glad we had chosen Plan International UK because of the way they get to know the communities so well, and really see and develop their potential with them. 

"Also we like the fact that our money goes much further in developing countries, and we can be sure it is going to excellent use. With careers like ours, we are keen to know that our investments into the charity are reaping real profits for children.”

Since visiting Plan International UK’s work, Chris has also generously pledged his pro bono support to our work to develop organisational capacity as part of his personal partnership with the organisation, and he and Natalie will be sponsoring children in communities where they have supported projects to build on the relationships they have begun.

At Plan International UK we are keen to partner with you to find solutions to global poverty. To talk with us about investing in a community project in partnership with Plan International UK, please contact Francesca Hewitt, Senior Private Partnerships Executive, or Stephanie Moran, Trusts and Private Partnerships Team Manager.

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