Kids Company Chief Executive Camila Batmanghelidjh, visited Christ’s Hospital on Sunday 8 September when during the Chapel Service she spoke movingly of her experiences working with vulnerable children and young people.
Afterwards, she warmly welcomed pupils who gathered around her.
A British businesswoman, charity leader and author of Iranian and Belgian origin, she has been living in England since the age of 11 and has founded two charities: the place2b and Kids Company, where she and her team have worked with 36,000 children and young people, approximately 18,000 of whom are receiving intensive programmes of wraparound support, comprising financial help, therapeutic interventions and educational provision. The charity operates from eight street-level centres across London and Bristol, as well as working in over 40 schools.
Christ’s Hospital Chaplain, Stephen Golding said: “It was an inspiring talk. Not only did Camila reveal something of her own past but also spoke of a Kids Company child who was extremely vulnerable and sought shelter from the charity. The pupils were moved by the talk and very keen to speak to her after the Service.”
Camila Batmanghelidjh has been described as ‘Britain’s most colourful charity leader’, and is well known for her flamboyant dress sense.
Earlier this year she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 and she was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for her work on behalf of underprivileged children in Britain.
Kids Company will be one of Christ’s Hospital’s chosen Chapel charities for this academic year.