Rise On The Runway event launches British Asian Trust’s Give a Girl a Future appeal

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The British Asian Trust, the UK’s leading organisation for British Asian philanthropy, has launched it’s first public appeal, Give a Girl a Future at an exclusive pre-London Fashion Week fashion event last night (Monday 12th September). Held at London’s Waldorf Hilton, ‘Rise On The Runway’, in partnership with the GMSP Foundation, saw collections showcased by leading designers Raishma and Lucy Choi London.

Television and Heart FM radio presenter Jenni Falconer hosted the evening, which was graced by acid attack survivors Laxmi and Adele, who inspired the room with an appearance on the catwalk. British Asian Trust ambassador Laila Rouass, British singer Sonique and ex-West Indian cricketer Carlos Braithwaite also attended.

It is the first event the British Asian Trust has taken part in since launching its appeal on September 7th. The funds raised from the event will be donated to the Trust’s Give a Girl a Future appeal, with every £1 donated matched by the UK Government. Matched donations from the UK Government will support girls, women and their families across Pakistan in livelihood projects.

During the event, the British Asian Trust launched it’s first appeal video for Give a Girl a Future, featuring chart topping music producer Naughty Boy, British TV stars Anita Rani and Sanjeev Bhaskar, Bollywood icon Anil Kapoor and British actor Ray Panthaki.

Speaking at the event, Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust said:

“Tonight’s event in partnership with GMSP Foundation is a unique night of fashion and a chance to share the stories of vulnerable women in South Asia. Our first public appeal ‘Give a Girl a Future’ aims to transform the lives of girls, women and their families in South Asia and this will be an opportunity to raise funds to support the appeal and unlock the potential of a new generation.”

International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, said:

“By matching and effectively doubling the British public’s generous donations to the British Asian Trust’s ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal, the UK is helping as many as 50,000 women and girls develop the business skills they need to secure steady jobs. We can reduce an entire generation’s dependency on aid as we enable young women in Pakistan to earn their own living and work towards a better future for them and their families.”

Ramesh Sachdev Co-founder and chairman of GMSP Foundation says:

“We hope to raise awareness of the vulnerabilities of girls, women and their families in India. We can all play a role in supporting these individuals and their communities’”

Pratibha Sachdev, Co-founder and trustee of GMSP Foundation says:  

“We are proud to present ‘Rise on the Runway’ in partnership with the Trust to showcase an event which displays the incredible strength of spirit of women who have faced violence.”

Sonal Sachdev, CEO of, GMSP Foundation adds:

“This is an incredibly important appeal from the British Asian Trust to support the lives of vulnerable girls, women and their families in South Asia. We are proud to present ‘Rise on the Runway’ in partnership with the Trust to showcase an event which displays strong, powerful women through the art of fashion. We hope to raise awareness of important issues that will help support the ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal.”

The British Asian Trust’s ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal is aiming to transform the lives of 100,000 girls, women and their families in South Asia through a campaign that will see the UK Government match all donations by members of the UK public made before December 7th .

In some rural areas, 94 women in every 100 have no work and even those with work, may earn as little as 17p per day. With no skills or hope the brutal reality for thousands of girls born into poverty in South Asia is that they have no real future.

Money from the UK Government will support girls and women in Pakistan to access the skills they need to secure a sustainable livelihood.

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