June Martin was the co-founder of Mpika Relief Fund, a registered charity since 2004. She had a background studying and working on environmental issues as a member of Friends of the Earth, and had interests and expertise in organic farming, conservation and alternative technology. An active participant in the anti-nuclear movement, in 1981 she set up a community peace group near her home in Leeds. From 2002 to 2019 June worked tirelessly for the relief of famine in Northern Zambia with her close friend Jennifer Musakanya, and raised funds for the Mpika orphanage and school by expanding the charity and its fund raising activities in the UK. June passed away in November 2019.
Jenny Musakanya is co-founder of Mpika Relief Fund and director of the project's activities in Zambia. Jenny was born and raised in Mpika herself, and is a trained nurse, midwife, hospital administrator and health educator, as well as being trained in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. She received most of her training in England so she has excellent communication skills with both local people and English supporters. She came to England initially to train and obtain a degree. and on a subsequent visit to the UK, she met June Martin and co-founded the Mpika Relief Fund.
Tina Watkin wrote the Denholme news column for her local newspaper, the Telegraph & Argus and met June Martin in 2005. She became an active volunteer when June asked her to help set up the charity shop in Denholme, and was able to advertise events through her newspaper's publicity machine. Tina soon became a trustee of the charity. Tina has leafleted and delivered newsletters for Mpika, organises sending funds through to Zambia, keeps her eye on the gift aid, collects goods from friends and occasionally gets involved in office work and serving at the shop. She is 72 this April and still has four voluntary jobs, one of which is presenter on BCB radio 106.6fm, where she is able to offer LIVE air time to June to promote the activities of Mpika Relief. Tina supports nine year old Marianna at the orphanage and hopes to visit her soon. For her 70th birthday, she asked friends for donations instead of gifts and raised £750 for the orphanage. She says volunteering is purposeful and rewarding and encourages others to give it a try. More...
Brian Newham is a computer programmer and Buddhist. He is committed to green issues and has been a keen supporter of the Mpika Charity for many years. He has run marathons in support of our cause, helps out with the charity, and in 2017 organised a challenge walk to raise funds. This is now an annual fundraiser and an official marathon, which raised £1700 in 2018 and £1300 in 2019. For more information...
Rose Bower. Rose met June in the Denholme charity shop in 2013 when shopping and she then offered to volunteer. She has since become a trustee for the charity and remains a dedicated and valuable member of our team in the shops. Rose has also visited the Orphange with June on her trip to Mpika in 2015, and here she is photographed holding baby Mellisa.
Marian Matley. June’s youngest daughter has now taken on the duty of a trustee. She is a qualified Social Worker and Personal Assistant. Marian supports with the general running and organisation of the charity and helps run the warehouse in Queensbury. Marian visited Africa in 2004 with her twin sister Gillian, June and Jenny to buy the original orphanage building. Marian has helped June fundraise for the charity since the very beginning.
Olga Ramsden. I meet June in 2016 through donating to the shop at Denholme. I offered to work voluntary on a part time basis and we soon became good friends. I stepped away from the charity in April 2019. I was asked to help out on the Admin side of the charity in January 2020 and am still working with the lovely team of volunteers to date.