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Camila Batmanghelidjh

Camila Batmanghelidjh

 

Camila qualified as a psychotherapist in her early 20s and founded two children’s charities: Place2be, offering counselling to children in schools; and Kids Company, which for 19-years, supported vulnerable children and families.

On August 5th 2015, Kids Company closed very suddenly amidst high-profile controversy.

Whilst at Kids Company, Camila and her team had raised £164million. They created award-winning interventions in the fields of volunteering, therapeutic use of the arts, special educational needs, social justice and advocacy. Camila’s work was recognised by 19 universities who gave her honorary doctorates and fellowships. She went on to write three books and contribute to numerous academic publications, whilst sharing her learning through lectures and training, internationally. Camila turned down Celebrity Big Brother and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, because she said she didn’t want to torment the nation with her bikini!

Camila’s focus has been, as she describes it, representing the children and families impacted by lack of social justice. She has helped bring together experts to do research into developmental trauma, and the impact of childhood maltreatment on physical, as well as, emotional well-being. This work led to collaborations with the Institute of Psychiatry, Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit of University College London, University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry and The Anna Freud Clinic. In 2013-14, under Camila’s leadership, Kids Company collaborated with some 35-research institutions that carried out studies at Kids Company and went on to publish these.

She curated exhibitions of children’s art at Tate Modern, Royal Academy and the Saatchi Gallery, with influential artists, collaborating with Kids Company, including Grayson Perry, Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley, amongst others. Camila encouraged the children of Kids Company to develop original designs, which sold out at Selfridges, Liberty and John Lewis.

Camila’s interest has been to engage those in public life across a variety of sectors, as advocates for troubled children. She continues to work on this agenda through See The Child, Change The System, which was launched in 2014, as a collaborative attempt to arrive at improved child protection and mental health services for vulnerable families.

Severely dyslexic herself, she thinks creatively and is interested in creative solutions, whilst hopefully maintaining a sense of humour.

Camila was appointed an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire  (CBE) for services to children and young people in 2013. In 2009 she was named Business Woman of the Year in the Dods and Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Award. In 2005, she received Earnest and Young-Coutts Social Entrepreneur award. In 2013, she was named as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Women’s Hour on BBC4. She was also voted as the Top 50 Most Influential People by the Evening Standard.

Some of Camila’s clinical models have been replicated internationally. She remains uncompromisingly outspoken and solely interested in the welfare of children whose courage and fortitude has been her source of inspiration.

She is currently writing a book in partnership with scientists on childhood maltreatment and its implications, as well as treatment. She continues to work with vulnerable children, whilst acting as a consultant to a number of organisations.

 
 

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