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10 May 2016

The Trust is delighted to announce that Dame Mary Richardson DBE has become a new Trustee.  Dame Mary’s lifelong commitment has been to help break cycles of deprivation and to support projects for the young which provide opportunity and hope particularly to those who have little of either. 
Mary took her degree and PGCE at Liverpool University and then was commissioned into the Women’s Royal Army Corps. She later married, eventually became a Headteacher for 15 years and subsequently was the founding Chief Executive of HSBC’s Global Education Trust until 2008.
She is committed to improving the life chances of looked after children and orphans globally and is President of SOS Children’s Villages.
She believes that the cadet experience provides formative and exciting opportunities for young people. She is Vice President of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets and a trustee of both the Cadet Bursary Fund and the Cadet Health Check Group.
She continues on a number of grant making trusts, is a trustee on several boards and a governor in three schools and a university. She holds several honorary doctorates and Fellowships and is a Founding Ambassador of Teach First.
Mary was awarded a DBE in 1999 for services to education. She has two adult children, both doctors, and two grandchildren

10 May 2016

The Trust is sad to announce the retirement of Dame Veronica Sutherland DBE CMG.  Dame Veronica has assisted and guided the Trust over a twenty year period as a Trustee and as Chairman of the Trustees and will be much missed.

21 March 2016

“The most comprehensive work to date on the hostage story…It is hard to recommend a book which offers such a stark insight into the suffering of men known to me. I do so, though – especially to those who still advocate Britain’s archaic policy on never negotiating with kidnappers.” Anthony Loyd, The Times (UK)

“To understand Islamic State, there can be few better books to read than Hunting Season, James Harkin’s heart-breaking investigation into the kidnappings of twenty-four foreigners in Syria . . .A masterclass in tireless investigation, war reporting and narrative journalism”, Matthew Green, The Literary Review (UK)

“Harkin tells this tragic story in a tight narrative driven by old-school journalistic rigour tempered by an empathy that comes from having travelled inside the Syria conflict zone and felt the fear. As Harkin points out, ‘Syria is a black hole’ as far as news is concerned. There are consequences to this, because ‘poor reporting based on partisan or compromised sources has done untold harm to Syria and to our understanding of it.’ Harkin accuses ‘penny-pinching news organizations’ of filling papers with unsupported chatter liftedunquestioningly from the internet. The need for informed, impartial reporting was of such importance that Jim Foley and his colleagues risked – and in many cases, gave – their lives to provide it. Because they, like Harkin, did not want the terrible things that happen in our brutal world to pass unnoticed.” Anthony Sattin, for The Observer (UK)

“A gripping account…Hunting Season is a passionately researched and dispassionately written tribute to these journalists’ efforts. In showing what a miasma of horror they endured under Islamic State—one still endured by an order of magnitude more Syrian and Iraqi hostages–it offers us a glimpse of the vast challenge any government faces in trying to loosen its grip of terror.” James Graff, news editor at The Wall Street Journal, The National Book Review (US)

“Despite the tragic events that surround the entire subject of the book, one can’t help but be drawn into the web of intrigue that surround the whereabouts, and eventual fates, of these journalists. There is a sense of Gonzo-like reckless to the group that nonetheless never makes the reader doubt the serious intent in which they took their mission to bring the truth of the brutality of conflict to the wider public. As this conflict has progressed into another war with international players, and as ISIS affiliates have taken their grievances to other parts of the world with acts of brutal terrorism, Harkin’s book acts as a solid testament to journalisms courage to get a story no matter the cost.” Stephen Lee Naish, The Hong Hong Review of Books


2 December 2015

Based on his groundbreaking reporting for Vanity Fair, journalist James Harkin’s harrowing investigation into the abduction, captivity, and execution of American journalist James Foley and the fate of twenty-three more foreign ISIS hostages.

Hunting Season has been featured in Vanity Fair magazine, Time magazine and GQ magazine in the UK. An interview with the author about the book is here at Vanity Fair:

“The most comprehensive work to date on the hostage story…It is hard to recommend a book which offers such a stark insight into the suffering of men known to me. I do so, though – especially to those who still advocate Britain’s archaic policy on never negotiating with kidnappers.” Anthony Loyd, The Times (UK)

7 April 2015

 Neither “NATO’s Foreign Legion” Nor the “Donbass International Brigades:” (Where Are All the) Foreign Fighters in Ukraine? published by The Polish Institute of International Affairs.  
The conflict in Ukraine continues to attract global attention. Moreover, foreigners are also involved in actual combat in the eastern part of the country. Russians, be they soldiers or volunteers, are the dominant foreign group in the war zone. Others, mostly Europeans, constitute neither “NATO’s foreign legion” nor the “Donbass international brigades,” as their numbers likely do not exceed 300 on either side of the conflict. Interestingly enough, many of these European foreign fighters share common ideological roots, i.e., anti-Americanism, anti-liberalism, extreme nationalism, fascination with authoritarianism, rejection of European integration, but these do not, however, stop them from taking opposing sides in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. They, as a group or as lone individuals, might constitute a threat to European security and must be closely monitored.