Gloucestershire News

Globetrotting Cheltenham asset manager Gareth Harries boosts good causes

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Written by: Peter McMillan | Posted 29 October 2015 8:39

Globetrotting Cheltenham asset manager Gareth Harries boosts good causes

An asset management specialist can be credited with helping charities abroad.

Every year Gareth Harries combines an “off the beaten path” type holiday with some charity work he organises.

It normally centres around art or teaching art. In the past he has drawn murals in orphanages - once on Christmas day - and at other times he has taught art.

His latest plan was to set something up that would run on its own or with future volunteers, allowing him to move on and set something similar up for another needy charity.

Last year he got children at a Rwandan orphans’ project to draw Christmas pictures and when he returned to the UK Mr Harries got them edited and printed as cards, raising cash which he has handed over to the charity.

His charity for this year is a children’s home run by nuns in Ethiopia.

If people buy the cards they are helping set up a project intended to lead to a regular income.

Mr Harries also plans to give Gloucester shops and pubs a supply if they wish to offer them.

His charitable work contrasts with his occupation in financial sales, which he has worked in for 18 years.

He started with Friends Provident from 1997 until 2008 before taking voluntary redundancy and spending a year travelling.

Since then he has gone into the more specialist role of asset management within financial services, which he has been doing this for nearly six years (with HSBC Global Asset Management.

During his year off he volunteered at an orangutan sanctuary in Sumatra, an animal sanctuary in Bolivia and a centre for children in Rio de Janeiro's biggest favela.

Since returning he has become involved in some UK charities, including Cheltenham Animal Shelter and British Hen Welfare Trust, which rehomes ex-battery chickens.

He now ties in his holidays with helping charities in the places he visits, including Morocco, India, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

In addition to helping day to day with those charities, he wanted to help from a business perspective, as it was not feasible to do fundraising for them every year.

Last year he ran the Christmas card idea for Rwanda and has now handed that over.

He plans to do the same with the Ethiopian children’s home.

The goal is to raise around £2,000, then next year he will set up another and the charities will run the initiative themselves.

He anticipates they can raise between £2,000 and £5,000 a year, meaning that in five years he will have five charities raising around £10,000 to £25,000 a year between them.

He thinks this year - 30 years after Live Aid - it is particularly apt that his initiative this year is for Ethiopia.

Tewkesbury-based Craig Paul Design Ltd is printing the cards at cost, meaning maximum profit will go to the charity.

If anyone wants to buy any of the Christmas cards they can contact Mr Harries at wah01@hotmail.co.uk or on 07888 816316.

They are also available at Lansdown Bar and Fusion Hair and Beauty, both in Cheltenham.

Photo caption: Gareth Harries in Rwanda.

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