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Gael’s Charitable Work
Gael regularly supports a very wide range of charitable and not-for-profit organisations by giving talks or training seminars to staff and volunteers. These are usually fund-raisers for the host organisation or a nominated charity.
After the death of her 19 year old daughter Laura, Gael and her family set up The Laura Lindenfield Foundation. This foundation pioneered a number of work related projects in the UK whose aim was to motivate and widen the horizons of young people. The inspiration for its work arose directly from a personal experience Gael had with her daughter shortly before her death.
After dropping out of an unsuitable University course, Laura had become depressed and demotivated. Gael put aside her writing work for a few months to spend some time helping Laura to re-build her confidence and find a new career path. Because Gael was fortunate enough to have contacts in a wide variety of work situations, she was able to arrange for her daughter to meet and sometimes work alongside people who both loved and were successful at their work. As a result, Laura did find a new more motivating career path and was offered a place on a suitable university course.
Just the night before she died, Laura shared with Gael how lucky she felt to have been able to have this help to climb out of the “black hole” she had felt stuck in a few months previously. She said she knew many other young people who felt trapped by being on courses or in jobs that they didn’t enjoy. In saying this she had unwittingly given Gael an amazing idea for helping herself climb out of the black hole that her subsequent grief at losing Laura drove her into.
An example of one of the Foundation’s successful projects was called “Enlightening Lunches”. Like most of the projects Gael initiated in her professional work the idea was simple, its budget minimal and most of its ‘workers’ unpaid. The Foundation’s role was to arrange for young people who felt uninspired with career or job prospects, to be invited to a one-to-one lunch with an adult in their local community. They chose hosts who had working lives which were both successful and personally satisfying. In order to help the young people get the best out of these meetings, the foundation organised confidence building and communication skills workshops. The majority of the presenters on these workshops were local employers who willingly gave of their time and expertise on a no-fee basis.
After a number of years, the local education authorities with whom the foundation had been collaborating, had incorporated much of the Foundation’s experimental work into their own programmes. The LLF decided it was time to move on and it decided to turn its attention to the needs of young people in developing countries.
Gael and her family family chose to support the work of Build Africa, a charity committed to improving education facilities in impoverished areas in Uganda and Kenya. In Laura’s memory they supported the building of a school by the local community in rural Uganda. The children’s ‘classroom’ had previously been a clearing beneath a tree. They now have several well-equipped classrooms and the photos on this page clearly illustrate the delight and enthusiasm of the pupils. The latest project for the school has been the boring of a well to provide much needed water.
We would highly recommend supporting this innovative, well run charity. It continues with its school building work, but has also recently set up many innovative low-cost schemes to help the communities to help themselves become more financially self-supporting.
Please contact Gael if you would like her or Stuart, her husband, to do a talk or workshop in aid of this amazing charity. Why not a look at Build Africa’s own uplifting website.
If you are interested in learning more about how Gael used the learning from her Charitable work experience as a step in her own emotional healing journey, take a look her book The Emotional Healing Strategy. But please be aware that it was Step 6 in a strategy that has 5 essential steps and two bonus ones !