A moment with Chris Underhill, Carers Worldwide Chairman
Carers Worldwide Chairman Chris Underhill, MBE is no stranger to taking on a challenge, dedicating most of his energy both professionally and personally to improving the lives of marginalized people in the UK and overseas.
A true and committed leader for change, Chris has founded and directed three immensely successful organisations; Thrive, ADD International and BasicNeeds. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty for services to disability both in the UK and internationally. Chris is currently co-founding citiesRISE, which is an organisation supporting the collective action of young people to develop a global response to mental health in major cities.
Throughout his career Chris has played a phenomenally active role in the third sector and has extensive experience in social entrepreneurship. During the course of his work overseas, Chris recognised that carers in developing countries were infinitely underrepresented and grossly overlooked. This realisation led to a meeting of minds between Chris and Carers Worldwide founder Anil Patil, who had already begun to research the issue.
In 2012 the shared belief that carers in developing countries should receive the recognition and support they deserve led Chris to accept the challenge to lead the development of Carers Worldwide as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
“Put very simply…when a carer is truly valued, the dynamics within the family change for the better” says Chris.
It was from this perspective that he has helped shape the catalyst philosophy that underpins the work of Carers Worldwide today. In Chris’ opinion “internationally almost no one takes an interest in carers…” and that’s what makes the work of Carers Worldwide so critical and unique.
A strong leader that does not shy away from doing things differently, Chris’s innovative mindset rapidly contributed to the successful establishment of the low cost, high impact approach that Carers Worldwide prides itself upon. Working in partnership with well-respected NGOs with local knowledge and expertise, the Carers Worldwide model builds on the existing support and services offered to families affected by disability, sickness and mental health issues.
“The development of carefully crafted programmes has evolved to be tremendous value for money” he says describing the fact that Carers Worldwide doesn’t replicate initiatives that already exist, but instead builds upon existing services in order to bridge the gap in support for carers.
Anil explains it differently saying “It’s like a drop of ink in a bucket of water” meaning that a relatively small action can go far in changing the colour of an entire bucket of water.
It is with great honour that we have Chris leading our organisation to a place of sustainability and future success. With a shared belief in our vision, he has taken on the challenge to change the lives of carers globally, opened doors of opportunity, and imparted his wisdom to help mature our organisation in its early years.
Our sincere thanks go to Chris for his unwavering support and commitment to Carers Worldwide.