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HM King Charles III retains Patronage of Practical Action

By Practical Action On 14.05.2024 News

Practical Action is pleased to announce His Majesty King Charles III will retain his patronage of the organisation.

The decision to continue was made during a major review of more than 1,000 Royal Patronages and charity Presidencies, which followed his accession in September 2022.

The King is an admirer of the “Small is Beautiful” book, written by British economist E.F. Schumacher in 1973 and has been a patron of Practical Action since 1980.

Schumacher set up the charity that became Practical Action as the Intermediate Technology Development Group to help communities develop simple, appropriate industrial and agricultural tools.

Sarah Roberts, CEO of Practical Action said, “We are pleased His Majesty King Charles III will be retaining his patronage with us.”

“His Majesty is a long-term supporter of our approach to development and working with people living in poverty. Back in 1981, the King wrote an article in The Observer, lauding the objectives of the Intermediate Technology Development Group and advocating the small is beautiful message.”

“Decades later, Schumacher’s ethos still guides Practical Action’s work. From our work with communities, to our partnerships and advocacy to change the systems that keep people poor and vulnerable, we always take a people-centred approach.”

“For over 55 years, we’ve worked closely with people on the frontlines of poverty so that they can lift themselves out of poverty and solutions that work for them can be sustained and brought to scale. Today, with climate change and environmental decline threatening years of progress against poverty, this work which has always been important is urgent and we are delighted to still be able to count on His Majesty’s support.”

The King’s support of Practical Action has helped raised the profile of the organisation in the UK and around the world for nearly 45 years. The King has engaged with Practical Action in several ways, including visiting our windpump project in Kenya in 1987, opening our previous office premise, Bourton Hall, in 1999; being part of his ‘Garden Party To Make A Difference’ festival promoting green living at Clarence House in 2010; and hosting an event in July 2015 at Clarence House to celebrate our 50th anniversary; in 2019, Practical Action was invited to Dumfries House in Scotland for a workshop.

HM King Charles visits our windpump project in Kenya in 1987.

HM King Charles visits our windpump project in Kenya in 1987.

Practical Action has also been invited to participate in several high-profile global activities, such as the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), an initiative launched by the King, then The Prince of Wales, in 2020 at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. As the ‘go-to’ global private sector organisation on sustainable transition, the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s power to convene top organisations from industry and the financial services, alongside governments, is key to innovating, accelerating and delivering on a just, sustainable and prosperous future.

Additionally in 2021, the King supported several initiatives, such as signing the foreword to our global Managing our Waste publication and its French translation.

During COP26, Practical Action’s work featured in an exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where many high-profile meetings were held, as well as a reception for royalty and Heads of State from across the globe. In early 2022, two of Practical Action’s programmes (Global Distributors Collective and Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance) were featured in the first Terra Carta impact report.

In late 2023, Practical Action was delighted to have been chosen by the King Charles III Charitable Fund as a Strategic Partner. The funding is being used across our agriculture work to build evidence and share knowledge so that many more farmers in different farming and community contexts can make the transition to regenerative agriculture practices. This evidence will help attract further investment to scale up regenerative agriculture, influence farmer behaviour, and encourage companies and governments to support even more farmers to make the transition.

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Practical Action’s CEO Sarah Roberts is available for comment.