Alumnus with passion for international development sets up charity

Teshie Foundation logo in green and orange text

Tom Bailey has recently set up the Teshie Foundation. His vision is to support the eradication of poverty in Africa and ultimately around the world. We chatted to Tom to find out more about his drive and how his time at Loughborough and early career experiences have led to this career direction.

With a passion for the charity sector, Tom has set up the Teshie Foundation as a way to make a difference in the world. He said:

“The vision for Teshie Foundation is to ultimately eradicate poverty from Africa and by extent across the globe. As large as that is, the vision is also to see community-owned, led and centred projects thrive to eradicate the root causes of poverty.

“The Teshie Foundation believes in equal opportunities and the accessibility of fair and just human rights to all. Our vision is a world of equality and sustainability driven by community led initiatives.”

Tom graduated in 2018 with a degree in History. He took a year out on placement with a major UK supermarket. Whilst enjoyable, the experience made him realise that he wanted to do something more personally fulfilling. Immediately after graduating, Tom began his career in the charity sector. He added:

“It goes more than just wanting to ‘make a difference’ or ‘do something with meaning’. I wanted to do something different, that would help give me a sense of fulfilment from my career.

“Working in the charity sector is very accessible and charities have many of the disciplines that any other business has – and in many cases something completely different.

“Before university I volunteered with a football team in Ghana and went back again after fundraising for the project in 2017. After graduating I immediately took up a graduate position at Macmillan Cancer Support. This role was based within a frontline delivery team working in partnership with the NHS on projects and with staff to support people living with cancer in London.

“After that I started working at the National Trust, implementing a community-based dementia project at a property in Cambridgeshire. I am about to start my new position implementing a project management office for Prostate Cancer UK.”

Since his first visit to Ghana, Tom has had a drive to do more. He has fundraised through a range of charities, and he ran three marathons in one month in support of Macmillan Cancer Support and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. Continuing his work within the sector, Tom became more passionate about starting his own charity and was keen to gain further autonomy over the work he was doing.

Since launching a year ago, the Teshie Foundation has raised funds which have supported a key beneficiary.

Working directly with communities to understand the specific needs of beneficiaries is important to Tom and the Foundation. Partnering with Akwaaba Volunteers has enabled the Teshie Foundation to provide bespoke funding and support to their first major project. Tom notes this as one of the charity’s biggest achievements to date. He explains:

“Akwaaba Volunteers Foundation runs a community netball team for young girls, organising training and matches, providing health insurance and educating on topics such as sexual health and female hygiene.

“Through this netball club our project team is able to identify young girls who are not yet in school, for various reasons, and support them onto a path of full-time education. After they have finished their journey through school, girls are also supported with vocational skills training to increase their access to successful careers.

“Our greatest moment was being able to provide the funding for this fantastic project for a year with a view to continue this into the future. We were lucky enough to visit the project in April this year and meet some of the inspirational young girls who are benefiting.” 

Thank you to Tom for sharing his story. Find out more about the Teshie Foundation on their website.