9th October 2019
Completing the Circle…
A new venture for The Brothers Trust launches today, something that has been a long time in the planning and we are excited that it is finally ready to share with our supporters.
Following our brotherstrustdogscollars, we are excited to launch our range of Brothers Trust T-Shirts that you will have seen the brothers wearing on our most recent promotional videos.
But these are not just any old T-shirts…
Made in Hyderabad, India by the John Foundation, a charitable trust established by Dr Saji John, a philanthropist and businessman working with his wife to rescue trafficked women off the streets in India. The women are given refuge in one of the foundations purpose built hostels (one of which has been built with a donation from The Brothers Trust) – and from this safe accommodation, the women are given training in a range of different skills with a view to creating future employment opportunities and thereby an independent, not to say, dignified life.
One area of interest to us is Dr John’s textiles manufacturing business, in which factories many of these women go on to work. Our T-shirts then are creating employment and hope for disadvantaged people and all the proceeds will be donated via our trust to the #fightEB campaign.
Many of you will know about EB already from our previous ventures. The pernicious skin disease that took James Dunn’s life and has been described by nurses at the world famous Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) as the worst disease that can blight anyone.
It has always been a determination of ours to identify not just charities that are struggling to be heard but also those charities that are very efficient and muscular where we can see the most benefits for the funds that you kindly provide. Not only do these two causes meet this criterion but it completes a funding circle in the same way that our dogs collars do with creating employment in Kenya and aiding LunchBowl in the process.
Fashion is powerful if it is exclusive – and with production restrictions, not to mention our limitations, these Brothers Trust Tee Shirts will certainly be exclusive items. For now at least as we gauge demand and also test our supply capabilities.
So, wear your shirts with pride. We look forward to seeing your social media feeds and how cool and trendy you look in them – and from here, who knows where this might lead and how much funds we can raise for Debra, the charity that combats EB on behalf of patients worldwide.
Myra's represents The Brothers Trust on the Spider-Man Far From Home junket.
The Spider-Man Far From Home press junket in London was timely with an announcement we can make about an exciting new venture for us that - The Brothers Trust merchandise is finally approved and we are almost ready to launch.
And Tom was able to wear our first Brothers Trust tee-shirt when being interviewed by Myra Ali. As you will see in this video, Myra has EB - and so this is the perfect way to launch this initiative since all the proceeds it generates will go to Debra - the charity charged with combatting EB. Just raising awareness about EB and Debra is a worthwhile exercise and expertly done by Myra. https://www.debra.org.uk/
Doubly exciting about this new venture is that we are able to complete a funding circle.
The John Foundation in India is a charity we have mentioned on our website previously. Established by a doctor and his wife in Hyderabad, India. https://thejohnfoundation.org/
The Brothers Trust awarded the John Foundation $30,000 to build a new refuge home in India to house and train young women and children from dreadful circumstances and poverty; to offer them security, love and most importantly vital training to become self sufficient and independent again. This included mastering over-locking machines used in the textile industry.
Our Brothers Trust tee-shirts will be manufactured in Hyderabad, in a factory who employs graduates of the John Foundation, so that they can generate an income for themselves and any profits that we generate will be given to Debra.
This arrangement has taken some considerable time and effort with various designs and to’ing and fro’ing with communications and samples with India. Our thanks to @bentallon for his design and for Tim Morris, a family friend who has visited The John Foundation and first brought them to our attention.
The tee-shirts should be available in the next six weeks. At this stage, it is likely that they will be sold via our website but if logistics allow, they might be available also via the network of Debra shops.
This was a very special day for Myra and for Tom. Myra would like to work in journalism and seeing how well she performed in this video augurs well. Myra is active on social media (distraction is the most potent method of enduring the pain associated with EB) and so any follows and/or mentions of Myra will be most welcome - she is easily found on instagram, @myraaliedit
There are no short straws...
In 2010, I visited New York with Tom because he had been cast in a film called, The Impossible – and the story of Eclipsed was already fully formed in my mind whatever happened to my eldest son from here-on-in.
As well as meeting the director and his co-stars, Ewan MacGregor and Naomi Watts (I definitely wouldn’t have used the word “co-stars” at this time because it would have implied that Tom was also a star!) – the highlight of the trip was a visit to the Empire State – the proudest building in this World City and its vaunted skyline. At the top, we looked over Central Park and the city which is a backdrop to so much modern culture including a certain friendly neighbourhood spider-man.
And so it feels complete and also completely surreal that yesterday, this very building was lit up in the colours of Spider-Man, ahead of the release of Spider-Man, Far From Home and that Tom was there as the super-hero himself.
And that The Brothers Trust should be featured also so prominently in this venture is heartening. A charity that we established only a few years ago to create some publicity for charities who struggle to be heard, not to mention to raise funds which combined helps to keep the feet of the Holland boys firmly grounded and on planet earth.
Last week in London, The Brothers Trust via Tom’s publicists, managed to get Myra Ali on to press junket of Spider-Man Far From Home.
Myra has EB – a pernicious skin disease which in many cases is fatal and in every case is bloody arresting. Myra wants to be a journalist and interviewing Tom, Samuel L Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya et al was a thrill for her. She was nervous on the day but did magnificently. Although she is in constant pain, she is as brave as a lion and like James Dunn before her, she will shine a light on a disease that deserves much broader recognition and support. Debra is the charity charged with this onerous role and anyone reading this who might be looking for a cause to support, a quick visit to www.Debra.org.uk and your search will be over. Myra can be found on Instagram @myraaliedit and I am sure she would welcome any of you kind enough to follow her.
And to complete this short post – this morning I took Nikki and Sam to the airport, bound for America and a certain premiere.
This is not just a jolly. Nikki has to be there to host the two winners of our most recent competition – to fly to America to meet Tom and attend the premiere. A sincere thanks to everyone who took part because over $500,000 has been raised, all of which will go to people like Myra and many others.
I, meanwhile am staying put in less glamorous London with Paddy because he has school – a short straw if ever there was one – but no complaints from me.
Meeting people like Myra and hearing news of my friend Paul Sinha’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease are chastening reminders, that we all complain too easily and count our blessings too infrequently.
Very grateful to The Empire State Building for helping to shine a light on The Brothers Trust today. Many years ago , Dom and I were lucky enough to visit this iconic and beautiful building and could never have known at this time what lay ahead for us. We are so fortunate as a family and proud that with the support of Tom’s fans, we are able to establish The Brothers Trust. The Empire State is a world landmark and indeed is now a landmark for our young charity also.
Our campaign is well underway - thank you to everyone so far who has contributed or helped to spread the news on social media. Dom has been busy surprising Tom in Atlanta and below is a short recording of him chatting with his boys including news of our campaign.
Firstly, apologies for not reporting back of late and in any great depth either - as busy as things are, this is no excuse and we promise to get better in this area going forward.
As yet, no monies from the recent campaign have been allocated but as and when we do make grants, we will be delighted to share with you how your funds are being spent.
In the meantime, you will know that we are supporting a local charity called Momentum - a charity founded out of the hospital where Tom, Sam, Harry and Paddy were all born. Momentum works with the families who have children with life limiting conditions, most commonly, cancer. Our contribution of £11,000 has provided a family support worker to liaise and support such families with a terminally ill child in the last months and days of their life and where necessary afterwards also. Part of this money was also allocated to provide 10 such families to enjoy a holiday in the New Forest Cabins that Momentum own. It must be a bewildering experience for such families but something that needs to be coped with. The simple things like connecting them with families in a similar situation or organising an evening for children and their families to come together are all important and can confidently report that Momentum are easing the pain for these families and are grateful to you for your support.
Today, Nikki and I met with Debra - the charity caring for people afflicted with EB - many of you will remember James Dunn I am sure? We talked of many ways that The Brothers Trust will continue to support Debra and there is potential for an exciting tie in between Debra shops and the John Foundation who we support in India - with details to follow. We also discussed establishing support for a charity in the USA and Debra might be a great a great place to start.
LunchBowl continue to do staggering work in Kenya. Heidi and Jenny who are integral to success of The Brothers Trust - introduced us to this charity - feeding and educating the world’s poorest kids in the world’s biggest slum dwelling - and our plans are to purchase a school bus for them and much else besides going forward.
The John Foundation is committed to taking women in India out of the sex trade. These women are trained in clothing manufacturing so that they acquire the skills necessary to gain employment and rekindle their lives with a fresh start. Our grant has allowed the John Foundation to build a new hostel to house 12 more victims. To square the circle, we have plans for the clothing factory where the women are trained to start making merchandise for The Brothers Trust which could be sold with the money raised being re-invested in this and other ventures that we support.
This is an excellent idea and so little surprise to anyone who knows us as a family - that it was Nikki’s idea and not mine!
As you can imagine, this grates on me…
And finally to say, thank you because without your support The Brothers Trust cannot help anyone!