Coming from such a comparative background of privilege and witnessing lives that in many cases have very little hope of a bright future provides a powerful incentive to make any small impact I could to benefit children's lives. I was powerless to help the children I saw when I was away, but I knew I could make a difference to those in the UK.
Today, sweeping changes to the care system - the biggest for more than 50 years - come into force. I welcome many of the reforms. However, the new Care Act can only go so far. Because three big issues sit behind it. The first is that, currently, not everyone who needs care gets it.
It is our fear that the gaps in the net are getting larger and more families in crisis are falling through, unrecognised and receiving no help. This will have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing, leaving many problems to snowball rather than being resolved. Storing up problems cost us more as a society in the long term.
This says to me that we need to take volunteering out of the margins and into the mainstream. We in the sector have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine volunteering for the next few decades at least.
Our mission here at NPC is to try and increase the impact that the not-for-profit sector achieves. And one of the most important things we have done i...
All research advances are to be applauded but we do worse with brain cancer than with other cancers and deaths are on the increase. At the moment only 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to the disease, yet tumours in the brain kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
World leaders are gathering in Kuwait today to decide the fate of millions of people in Syria and the neighbouring countries. The Kuwait pledging conference, the third of its kind, will bring together the UN and donor governments to pledge money to help civilians caught up in the spiralling violence. They will need to be generous - as the war enters its fifth year, Syrians and their neighbours are increasingly unable to cope with this unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
Immediately after a disaster, life-saving aid floods into a country. Yet, while humanitarian workers are adept at dealing with the physical needs, they can miss the invisible needs of disaster survivors - such as mental health and psychosocial support, especially for children.
With one in five people of working age in Scotland having a disability, equality campaigner and SNP member Jamie Szymkowiak set up the One in Five Campaign with Labour Party activist Pam Duncan-Glancy.
When I joined the Earth Hour team at the beginning of the year, I suspected my time at WWF would not be your ordinary internship, and I'm happy to say I was 100% right!
Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) supporters across the UK are celebrating the news that a long awaited and hard campaigned for vaccine against the most feared and deadly disease will be offered to babies for free under the NHS.
In a profession which employs more women than men, why are we looking at an almost all-male senior squad? Across the heritage sector the most senior women are now all officers rather than chair... It is a depressing situation.
A dying breed of self-proclaimed 'foodie' still shamelessly defends its obsession with this torture in a tin, no matter how many videos surface showing ducks and geese in abject misery. But the future for foie gras producers and aficionados is bleak. Even the French, a nation once synonymous with the cruel foodstuff, are turning their backs on foie gras.
Now you're been inspired to hit the streets and found your nearest Race for Life 10k event (they are nationwide), how do you break into this running fraternity? It's easy! Cost wise, you have no excuse. An expensive gym membership isn't required, and at present there is no toll or oxygen consumption charge levied at runners that I know of.
Speed is an important factor for any successful emergency response: Next time, to outsmart the virus, we need to act fast through quick deployment of equipment, specialists and field hospitals. Speed will play a critical role in writing a different story for the first hundred days - in Africa or elsewhere.
Every charity will have its own policy agenda that it will wish to pursue, and many will (I fervently hope) have been promoting these agendas, locally and nationally, over the last few years, prior to the forthcoming general election campaign.