Martha Collison rose to fame in the 2014 season of the BBC's Great British Bake Off. As the youngest ever contestant at just 17 years old she made it all the way to the quarter finals, whilst also studying for her AS Levels. Now a columnist for Waitrose Weekend, she also blogs at bakingmartha.co.uk. In 2015 Martha visited Tearfund partners and projects in Thailand and Cambodia where she met young women her own age and saw Tearfund's work to prevent child trafficking.
'I’m extremely privileged to have the opportunity to see Tearfund’s anti-trafficking work up close in Cambodia,' said Martha. 'To be able to trace the steps of girls my age who have had a very different, horrific life, to raise awareness for this work is truly powerful.'
With the Christian faith behind it, Tearfund gives hope to people whose lives have been destroyed since childhood. I think that’s quite hard to undo, but God can heal broken lives.'
Rev Joel Edwards was the International Director for Micah Challenge, a global Christian response to extreme poverty, and prior to that he was General Director of the Evangelical Alliance UK, a post he held for over 10 years. Joel continues to hold a number of other roles, including serving as an Advisory Member of Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation and Strategic Advisor to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and was formerly a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission for the UK.
He is an Honorary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and has an honorary doctorate from St Andrews University, Scotland. He is married to Carol and they have two adult children.
Andy juggles his work with Christians in Politics and Christians on the Left with a music career. He is the Director of Christians on the Left and one of the directors of Christians in Politics . A key driving passion of Andy's is to see a just rewiring of the global economic system.
Andy is married to Jenny, and they are both committed to Tearfund’s vision. ‘So often, the better you know an organisation, the less you think of it,’ says Andy. ‘With Tearfund, the opposite is true. The more I get to know it, the more impressed I am.” Andy’s passion for justice is evident in many of his songs.
Tamsin Greig is a successful actress and a good friend of Tearfund. Tamsin is well known for her roles in TV series Episodes, Friday Night Dinner for Channel 4, Black Books, and many more. Tamsin has won a BAFTA nomination, received a Royal Television Award for Best Comedy performance and an Olivier award for her portrayal of Beatrice in the RSC's production of Much Ado About Nothing. Tamsin has visited Tearfund partners and projects in Democratic Republic Congo, and when filming in India she took time to visit Tearfund partners in Mumbai.
'I support Tearfund because I have seen for myself how communities can transform themselves, as they are supported and encouraged by a worldwide network of partners. I love the way Tearfund partners with local churches and communities to help them change their worlds, as they reach out to the most marginalised and vulnerable people.'
Bear Grylls entered the records books as the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest, aged only 23. Since then, Bear, an ex-SAS soldier, has since led ground-breaking expeditions all across the world. Bear's gift for communication has led him to become a world class motivational speaker, No 1 bestselling author and TV host of one of the most watched programmes on earth: Man Vs Wild and Born Survivor, which reaches over one billion viewers.
Bear combines his passion for adventure with tireless work to support and raise money for causes like Tearfund that are close to his heart.
Actor David Gyasi has played many and varied roles in critically acclaimed productions across stage, television and film since the start of his acting career.
In 2005, David played the part of Francois in the BAFTA nominated feature Shooting Dogs, based on the experiences of BBC news producer David Belton who worked in Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide. David has since taken to the stage, notably in the National Theatre's multi-award winning production of War Horse, as well as numerous TV appearances including White Heat, Murderland and Dr Who. David appeared in the highly acclaimed films Cloud Atlas and Interstellar, and was the lead in the US TV series Containment.
'I love that Tearfund’s work is more than just a sticking plaster, it’s about working alongside people with the goal of enabling them to have the confidence to take decisions that will shape their lives. It is a vision of unlocking potential, ensuring a future that’s better than the past.'
Tom is a 5th generation baker passionate about eating, sharing and making bread. Fresh out of baking college Tom won Young Baker of the Year and has gone on to collect numerous awards. Tom presented the BBC4 documentary In Search of the Perfect Loaf and appears alongside his brother Henry in Channel 4’s The Fabulous Baker Brothers. He regularly gives talks, demonstrations and bread making courses at Hobbs House Bakery. Tom is married to Anna and they have four children. He believes anyone can bake - and everyone should!
In 2014 Tom visited Tearfund projects in Laos.
'Baking is in my genes and there was never any doubt as to what I would do for a living, but for the children I met in Laos there is very little choice. Through their partners Tearfund are shining the light and the love of Jesus in a very dark place. In truly wretched and horrific situations, their currency is hope.'
Sir John Houghton
Sir John Houghton CBE, FRS is a scientist, educated at Rhyl Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford. After a short period at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, he returned to Oxford as Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Atmospheric Physics, where he became involved in novel instrumentation for observing the Earth’s atmosphere from space. In 1983, he moved to become Director General (later Chief Executive) of the Meteorological Office. In 1988, on the formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he was appointed chairman of its Scientific Assessment. After retiring from the Met Office in 1991, he became chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and a Trustee of the Shell Foundation (2000-10).
Sir John is currently President of the John Ray Initiative. His awards include the Japan Prize, International Meteorological Organisation Prize, gold medals from the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society, honorary doctorates from twelve UK universities including Oxford and Wales and a share in the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the IPCC. His books include Global Warming: the Complete Briefing and The search for God: can science help.
'Tearfund puts into practice a vision close to the heart of Christianity - of a caring world community working for the good of all creation and justice for people who are living in poverty'
Tim is a well-known Christian singer, songwriter and worship leader. He is Director of Worship at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, and leads worship at festivals and events worldwide.
Tim founded and runs Worship Central, which holds regular training events for worship leaders. Through this, and through many of his songs, Tim has brought the issue of justice into the heart of worship.
‘God’s heart breaks for the poor, the needy and the broken,’ says Tim. ‘If we want to offer up worship, our hearts must break too…The Bible is clear – worship and justice cannot be separated.’
Described by the Daily Mail as ‘the man who reinvented fatherhood’, Rob Parsons is a prolific international speaker and author.
Many of his books – including Sixty Minute Father and Sixty Minute Marriage – have made it onto the bestseller lists. He also heads up Care for the Family, one of the UK’s leading family issues charities.
Rob is passionate about social justice. ‘Tearfund does, on all our behalves, those things we would love to be able to do ourselves for children across the world who are suffering in so many different ways,’ he says.
Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff, a much loved and world-famous singer and entertainer, has been actively involved with Tearfund for more than 40 years, using his fame to raise both awareness and money.
Sir Cliff has visited Tearfund projects all over the world, including those in Uganda, Bangladesh, Sudan and Brazil. ‘I’m proud to have been associated with Tearfund for so many years,’ says Sir Cliff. ‘Playing a part in relieving poverty is, as I see it, the responsibility of us all.'
Dr Elaine Storkey
Dr Elaine Storkey served as Tearfund's president from 1996-2013. She is a well-known academic and broadcaster, and was named one of the 100 women public intellectuals by The Guardian. Elaine is Director of Education for the Church of England Church Army, and speaks at public events in many countries. Author of eight books, she has also written hundreds of articles for journals and newspapers. Elaine has a number of academic degrees, including a Doctorate of Divinity, and has lectured at King’s College, Birkbeck College and Oxford University. Elaine is passionate about justice and transformation, and has been connected with Tearfund for a number of years, visiting Tearfund projects in numerous countries.
Will Torrent is a chocolatier, pâtissier and best-selling author. Pâtisserie at Home is his bestselling first book which he followed up with Chocolate at Home in 2014 and Afternoon Tea at Home in 2016. Will is a consultant to Waitrose, Ambassador for Cacao Barry and WorldSkills UK, and also hosts culinary theatres at trade and public shows. He has made appearances on programmes such as BBC’s Blue Peter, The Apprentice, Ready Steady Cook, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and ITV’s This Morning. Will is married to Francesca and lives in south Buckinghamshire.
Ruth is Churches and Theology Director for the Christian environmental charity A Rocha UK and is a director of Cred Jewellery. She has written extensively on justice, environment and lifestyle issues, and in 2013 she was awarded a Phd for her thesis on the concept of simplicity and consumerism. Ruth runs A Rocha's Living Lightly initiative and is also part of the leadership of Spring Harvest.
She lives with her husband and two daughters in Chichester, where she is involved in issues of community regeneration and chairs the Community Association.
'I've been a supporter of Tearfund for as long as I can remember. Their combination of professionalism and passion makes me proud to be associated with them. We share the same desire - to see this world put to rights and to see people and planet flourishing together.'