Alderman Sir Michael Bear becomes President of children’s charity Coram
3rd May 2012
Leading children’s charity Coram has appointed Alderman Sir Michael Bear as its new President.
Coram was chosen by Sir Michael Bear as the lead beneficiary of his Lord Mayor's Appeal 2011, Bear Necessities – Building Better Lives, whose success has enabled Coram to help 10,000 vulnerable children in London and across the UK. Sir Michael became a Governor of Coram in 2008 and Vice President in November 2011.
Sir Michael Bear said: “I was honoured to be asked to become President of the Court of Governors of Coram, the UK’s first children’s charity. I believe passionately that children deserve the best chances in life, and as I have become more involved with Coram I have learned more of the success of its pioneering programmes offering care, education and justice to children who need them most. I look forward to working with the charity to help it achieve even greater success”.
Sir Michael succeeds Lord Young of Graffham, who was President for three years. Coram’s Chief Executive, Dr Carol Homden said: "Sir Michael Bear is taking the helm from Lord Young, who has led Coram through an extraordinary period of transformation and growth. With Lord Young as President we successfully completed amalgamations with two major national charities to form Coram Life Education and Coram Children’s Legal Centre, and have grown our income to increase the number of children and parents we help directly by more than 500%.
“We are delighted that Sir Michael has accepted the role of President at one of the most exciting times in our history. Coram continues to be at the heart of the debate as the Government’s Adoption Action Plan is put into practice, and several innovative new projects are in the pipeline.
“Sir Michael Bear’s experience in regeneration and working with communities will be an enormous asset as we look to the future, maximising our efforts and resources, especially our campus, to help disadvantaged children and young people in our society. Under Sir Michael’s presidency I am confident that thousands more will benefit in the coming years, including some of the most vulnerable children in the country.”
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Notes to editors
For more details contact: Sue Massey, Coram’s Head of Marketing and Communications, on 020 7520 0349.
Coram, the first children’s charity, has been creating better chances for children since 1739. Today it champions what matters most for children through its acclaimed work in adoption, creative therapies, supported housing, parenting support, health and drug education and children’s rights. www.coram.org.uk
Coram’s Court of Governors includes prominent individuals from the world of business, education, law, academia, children’s services and the arts, as well as parents who have adopted children and representatives of former Coram service users. Current Governors include Baroness Elizabeth Butler Sloss, Jamila Gavin (author of Coram Boy), Professor Sir Michael Rutter, Nicola Horlick and Patrick Fauchier. Past Governors include composer George Frideric Handel, who organised an annual concert of the Messiah each year to raise funds for Coram, and the artist William Hogarth who donated art to generate income for Coram’s work.
Alderman Sir Michael Bear is a leading figure in the property and construction industries and has a long history heading inner-city regeneration projects. He is Regeneration Director at Hammerson plc, a non-executive director of Arup and former Managing Director of Balfour Beatty Property.
His voluntary work includes charity projects in South Africa, Bangladesh & the UK. He is a Director of Spitalfields Market Community Trust, The Drinking Fountain Association and a Governor of the Sir John Cass Primary School. He served as Chairman of the public/private City Challenge Programme in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and as a Director of its successor body Cityside Regeneration.
Sir Michael was awarded Knights Bachelor in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List for his services to regeneration, charity and the City of London.