Off to a Flying Start - BA launched its new global charity
Thursday 1, July 2010
British Airways launched ‘Flying Start’ its new global charity partnership with Comic Relief, today (June 30) with a pledge to raise up to £8 million by 2013 for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the UK and around the world.
An aircraft with ‘Flying Start’ emblazoned on its fuselage was unveiled to mark the beginning of this exciting fund-raising venture.
Actors Bill Nighy and Nick Frost flew to Kenya to visit some projects that Comic Relief supports. They visited KICOSHEP – a community self-help project supporting orphaned children affected by HIV and AIDS, Pendekezo Letu – an organisation that assists street children escape poverty, and Pajoma Trust – which helps poor urban slum dwellers across Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Bill Nighy said: “Meeting some of the most impoverished and vulnerable children in the world has been a humbling experience. Yet, despite the adversity these children face, optimism and hope is strong. Just seeing how Comic Relief has already made a difference has been incredibly inspiring and with the support from Flying Start, we can enrich the lives of even more children.”
Comic Relief is a UK wide charity, which aims to create a just world, free from poverty. It launched in 1985 and is perhaps best known for two major fundraising campaigns that take place in alternate years – Red Nose Day and Sport Relief. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the British public, Comic Relief has raised over £620million to help change lives.
Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “Our partnership with Comic Relief will bring new help and support to underprivileged children in the UK and around the world through funds we raise in the air, on the ground and online. We have a great tradition of giving and, with our customers and our people, we will raise much needed funds.”
Kevin Cahill, chief executive of Comic Relief said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as a long term partner of British Airways, which offers us the chance to reach out to staff and customers worldwide, all year round. Working with BA will help us stay connected to our beneficiaries across the world and will help us raise crucial funds to increase the numbers of individuals and countries we are able to support.”
Flying Start will strengthen the airline’s long tradition of support for disadvantaged people and communities around the world. The airline has a long-standing history in corporate responsibility and supports over 80 community and conservation charities worldwide.
Last year the airline gave over £5 million to charitable causes, through customer and other donations.
Flying Start believes that every child deserves a happy and secure childhood and that’s why every penny, cent or Euro raised through the programme will go to help turn children’s lives around.
For more information on Flying Start and British Airways corporate responsibility programme or to make a donation, please visit; ba.com/communityrelations
Footage from the Kenya trip, including commentary from Bill and Nick can be viewed at British Airways’ official YouTube page – youtube.com/FlyBritishAirways
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