Beyond Conflict marks 1st year; first project in Najaf, IraqMarked with gala dinner at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor
Martin Bell OBE, former BBC war correspondent, ex-MP and Unicef Ambassador is guest speaker
Beyond Conflict, the mental health charity for post-conflict zones, celebrated its first year with a fundraising gala dinner hosted by our Chairman Dr Edmund Newell at Cumberland Lodge, a beautiful Jacobean mansion set in the royal Windsor Great Park.
The black tie dinner and auction, attended by special guests, including our honorary speaker Martin Bell OBE, raised thousands of pounds on the night – enough to start our work in Najaf, Iraq, later this year. Beyond Conflict’s Najaf project, in collaboration with the Al Kawthar widows and orphans charity in Iraq, will boost boost mental health support for widows and orphans who are victims of ISIS. More to be announced shortly.
CHAIRMAN UNVEILS OUR FIRST PROJECT
Our Chairman Ed Newell welcomed guests on a lovely sunny evening with a few words about our work that aims to boost mental health capacity in Iraq, which has seen its civilian population devastated by war and terrorism. Our Najaf project aims to be the first of many in Iraq, which will fly top trauma counselling psychiatrists from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London to Iraq to train frontline Iraqi workers to help traumatised civilians.
MESSAGE FROM MARTIN BELL AND TERRY WAITE
Former MP and ex-BBC war correspondent Martin Bell, who is now a Unicef Ambassador, was our guest speaker. Martin said of Beyond Conflict’s mission:
“This is about injuries of the mind…Wars are about people and the suffering of people and wars are about the waste of young and not-so-young lives.
“You know the difference between PTSD in a soldier and PTSD in a child? In a child it lasts longer…”
“We are all together in this, we are one people. We either make a difference or we fill a space. And I think what you’re doing with this charity and what you will do can make a difference. It’s going to save people’s minds as well as their lives.”
OUR FOUNDING AMBASSADOR TERRY WAITE HAD THIS MESSAGE FOR EVERYONE:
“I’ve spent a lifetime working in conflict zones and I saw the bloody aftermath of war. When we think of war, we think of the injuries that are inflicted on the combatants…what we don’t see is the effect that warfare has on the civilian population after the war and those who are principally affected are women and children.
“There’s so much that needs to be done around the world. If we want a world in which we can have a peaceful society in which young people can be given an opportunity to live life fully, then this is just one of the many ways we can help, by helping and supporting Beyond Conflict.”
Beyond Conflict would like to thank everyone who was able to support our first birthday dinner and those who have donated. We would like to thank Terry and Martin for their profound insights and support; thanks to our auctioneer Simon Jones; to all the people who donated prizes to our auction; to our Ambassadors the war artist Arabella Dorman and Dr Sheikh Ramzy of the Oxford Islamic Information Centre and Muslim Council of Britain.
Also we are grateful and honoured to our musicians for the evening who performed beautifully: firstly, Vanessa Schrieber, who played the violin, including an excerpt from The Cry, a requiem for refugees composed by our Ambassador Adrian Snell, and to Astrid D’Souza, who sang over dinner.
Lastly, thank you to our partners in Iraq, the Al Kawthar widows and orphans charity which is part of the world renowned Al Khoie Foundation. We look forward to working together on the first mental health project in Iraq later this year. May we make a real difference on the ground.
If you want to help Beyond Conflict in its work, get in touch via our website or donate. Thank you.”
Registered Charity Number: 1176499