Who We Are - Raise Your Hands | Supporting Small Charities

Who We Are

Our mission is to provide a sustainable source of funding for exceptional small charities.

Our focus is small charities working with young people.

Our Story

How time flies. It was back in 2014 that Ed Wethered and Chris Kirkland were on a plane back from Denmark and got chatting about how they wanted to give to a children’s charity. They knew the big names but wondered if there were smaller charities out there that might need the money more.

After a bit of digging, they found there weren’t just a handful but hundreds. The more they looked, the less the situation seemed to make sense; tons of small charities doing great work but the bulk of donations going to the big names.

This wasn’t just a case of supporting the underdogs. The more Ed and Chris thought about how small charities work, the better it sounded. Small, passionate, agile businesses, experts in specialist areas, that didn’t come with the bureaucratic baggage of larger organisations.

They got talking to friends about what Raise Your Hands might look like and the same conversations came up again and again. People wanted to give but weren’t sure how well their money would be used. They didn’t want to be stopped in the street or be called asking for more money.

It was out of these frustrations, and a desire for change, that Raise Your Hands was born. A model that helps exceptional small charities have a real impact. A model that offers people who want to give a positive experience.

Giving on your terms.

Our Management Team

Our team is currently Ed, Slaney and Tom who work out of our office in East London.

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Ed Wethered

Ed began his career at Merrill Lynch, where he was a member of the hedge fund group. In 2008, Ed moved to Zambia where he worked for a venture capital company, starting, investing in and running a wide range of businesses. Aged 26, Ed returned to London to co-found a hedge fund as its COO.

Ed was awarded the Extra Mile award by eFinancial News in 2016 and was nominated for the Beacon Award in Innovation 2017.

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Slaney Wright

Slaney joined Raise Your Hands as a Director with a wealth of experience in the charity sector; she started her career in South America, running a volunteer project in children’s home in Bolivia. She then worked for the national youth charity, Fairbridge, where she took on various roles; moving from the “front line” (programme delivery) as a Centre Manager to the “dark side” (fundraising!) as Head of Philanthropy Development.

In 2007, Slaney co-founded the criminal justice charity, Switchback – which has a strong track record of delivering meaningful, real impact for young adult offenders.

Tom le Fanu

Tom Le Fanu

Tom heads up communications & development at Raise Your Hands. He’s worked for over ten years in comms and fundraising, with a specialism in digital. Starting agency-side, Tom worked on a range of clients including Barclaycard and the COI government communications. He then moved into the charity sector, working in-house for WaterAid, Parkinson’s UK and Diabetes UK.

Our Trustees

Our Board of Trustees meets once a quarter and guides the strategic direction of Raise Your Hands.

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Chris Kirkland

Chris works for a family owned construction and real estate business based out of central London. He started his career at Knight Frank where he was an advisor in the capital markets team. He then moved into development working for Landid Property Ltd on a variety of schemes across South East England.

Chris is chairman of the board at Raise Your Hands with a specific focus on wider strategy and fundraising within the organisation.

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Federica Cucè

Federica has over 24 years of experience in finance across M&A, private equity, public equities and hedge funds. Today Federica is a senior Investor Relations executive at Marshall Wace, a leading global alternative investment manager with a philosophy of entrepreneurship and innovation. Previously, Federica spent more than 10 years in different roles in investment banking for BNP Paribas, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank in Paris, New York and London.

In her free time, Federica volunteers for ARK, a charity that aims to transform children’s lives through education, and has helped raising funds on a personal level for JDRF, a charity that supports individuals suffering with type 1 diabetes, and for other causes close to her heart.

Federica is a languages, yoga and sports enthusiast.

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Nick Burlington

Originally a chartered accountant by training, Nick has spent the last 12 years in private equity investment with the likes of Triton Partners, Permira and Impax Asset management, covering institutional relationships, investor relations and fundraising.

During his time at Impax, Nick was responsible for defining the impact led investment strategy, and has been heavily involved in the implementation of best practice ESG initiatives in all his recent roles.

Nick is a passionate endurance sports enthusiast and a Freeman of the City of London. He sits on a charitable board of the Girdlers’ Livery Company, which is focussed on making meaningful donations to a selected number of charities. He has also involved himself on a personal level raising funds for mental health charities which are very close to his heart, for the last 7/8 years.

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Hannah Baker

Hannah is a qualified Chartered Accountant, and has worked in finance at Goldman Sachs for the last seven years. She became involved with Raise Your Hands through competing in Midnight Madness in 2018 and 2019, before joining the board of trustees in 2021. Hannah has previous experience on the youth boards of The Funding Network, a live crowdfunding network, and Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity.

Hannah has a passion for health and fitness, and has previously competed for England in karate. More recently she ran the London Marathon, and has used her time during lockdown to become a qualified Personal Trainer and Exercise to Music Instructor.

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Adam Lawrenson

Adam is Executive Creative Director of Albion, an innovation consultancy based in London. Albion is famous for designing the Skype brand and product experience, inventing the disruptive telco GiffGaff and scaling Candy Crush from facebook game to global phenomenon.

Adam spent his early career in advertising, creating campaigns for BMW, Sky, Gov UK and Bupa. He then ran a product design studio where he led long-term innovation projects for leading brands. And he did a long stint as Creative Director working on the global rebrands of Jaguar, Land Rover and Vodafone.

Adam has sat on the digital advisory board for WPP. He’s won a Bafta and an Emmy for a real time documentary with Channel 4. And rather bizarrely had a poem exhibited at the V&A alongside poet laureate Andrew Motion.

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Simon Wethered

Simon was one of the Charity Commission’s two legally-qualified board members from 2006 to 2012. Simon was a legal consultant specialising in charities with Charles Russell LLP and was formerly a partner there. He has 37 years experience as a solicitor, 17 specialising in charity work.

Simon was also a trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care, Chair of the St Martin in the Fields Christmas Appeal Charity among other trusteeships in the charity sector. He is a member of the Charity Law Association, associate member of the Charity Finance Directors’ Group and co-editor of the Charity Law Handbook.