As Trustees Week comes to a close, we welcome to new trustees to the board Becky Horsbrugh and Sabbir Karim.
Becky Horsbrugh is a TV journalist with 30 years experience in the industry working for a number of major broadcasters. She is currently working at Channel 4 News and lives in London.
Her real passion however is swimming and it is that interest that led her to get involved with drowning prevention work, particularly in Bangladesh. In 2018 she became the first British person to swim the Bangla Channel in the Bay of Bengal, a 16km stretch from St Martins Island to Teknaf in Bangladesh. Her swim raised money for the drowning prevention schemes that are being run in Bangladesh and it also helped raise awareness of the big problem of drowning there. Every day around 40 children lose their lives to the water; that's 18 thousand children a year.
Becky first found out about The Sreepur Village when she was researching drowning prevention work in Bangladesh, and soon became interested to learn more. After contacting the village, she made her first visit there in the summer of 2017.
Since then she has returned regularly, specifically to help with the swimming lessons at the village. It is this involvement that convinced Becky she should play a larger role in the future of the charity, and why she has now stepped up to become a trustee and help the charity move forward so that it will continue to be a success.
Sabbir Karim has been part of British Airways Cabin Crew for over two decades and is the Owner-head chef of critically acclaimed restaurants, Namaaste Kitchen and Salaam Namaste.
Sabbir has won many accolades including Best Chef Of the year 2012, 2014 and Innovative chef 2013. Sabbir was recognised at the British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration l2018 (BBP100) for playing an instrumental role in elevating Indian and Bangladeshi food in the capital.
Charity is a cause that’s close to Sabbir’s heart, demonstrated through his involvement with organisations including The Sreepur Village, Action Against Hunger and The Anna Freud Centre, concerned with the very vital subject of child mental health research, training and treatment.
A community activist and a philanthropist - Sabbir was one of the first Bangladeshis to have distributed food, essentials and necessities at Grenfell Tower following the tragic fire in 2017.
As a BA cabin crew, Sabbir has visited The Sreepur Village many times and has maintained a deep connection with them for over 23 years. Sabbir hosted the 25th Anniversary & most recently the 30th Anniversary celebrations at his restaurants and raised money for The Sreepur Village.
“AS A CABIN CREW I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE VILLAGE FOR OVER 23 YEARS. INSPIRED BY THE AMAZING WORK AND DEDICATION BY PAT KERR FOR THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN FOR PAST 30 YEARS AND I’M ABSOLUTELY HONOURED TO BE A TRUSTEE OF THE VILLAGE AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE TEAM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE” SABBIR KARIM
Until Monday, we were unable to admit any new families to The Sreepur Village, but as identified cases of the virus are increasing daily, we are now able to safely admit some impoverished families who are in desperate need of shelter, food and care.
As Small Charities and Volunteers’ Week both fall in June, one of our long-standing supporters, Andy Bennett, has kindly offered to share with us her experiences with The Sreepur Village charity from the initial concept in the 1980’s to the current village today, which helps keep together 150 impoverished mothers and their 300 children, empowering families with hope for a brighter future: