Chairman - Gavin Bate
Secretary - Chris Little
Treasurer - Andrew MacDonald
Trustee - Susan Birkett
Trustee - Dot King


Three of the UK Trustees have been involved since the inception of Moving Mountains in 2001 and they all meet regularly to provide strategic direction, governance and oversight for all the stakeholders and donors.

The UK Trustees work closely with the staff and committee members of MM Kenya and MM Nepal. Together we have been part of an evolving model of development and collectively we have many years of experience in the ‘third sector’.

Each ‘Moving Mountains’ organisation is a separate legal entity and registered NGO run by its own team of trustees of committee members, but everyone is joined by the one vision of collaborative and equitable development. MM UK provides grants to the MM operations in-country, as well as training, capacity-building and management skills.

We also work with a large number of other organisations, including authorities, co-operatives and womens' groups, and in each case we establish a clear and positive working relationship based on shared values.

We believe in collaborating with authorities and making sure that our work is part of the national policies and aims for that country (and is accepted by all the necessary bodies for proper registration and recognition). This approach has ensured that none of our projects and programmes have failed; in fact, in many cases we have been able to achieve our aims much faster and with greater collaboration. 




We believe that people who are educated and healthy and recognised as equal global citizens have greater opportunities. Our vision is that empowered equitable relationships will ultimately drive the evolution of development and help us move mountains for people to succeed and improve their quality of life.


 We are on a mission to help people enjoy equality and equal opportunity, and have a positive impact on society. Ultimately this begins with empowerment and we believe it is the main way in which people can achieve their potential and for communities to become the architects of their own success.

We want to challenge prejudice and stereotyping and create fair working models of development.

We aim for a democratic and non-prescriptive model of development which begins with people, attitudes and relationships.

We want to work with local stakeholders to find solutions to social, environmental and economic challenges, and be part of a team where collaboration is the key.

We are underpinned by a duty to protect human rights and natural resources, and to promote social justice and equality for everyone.



Our values are what we are most proud of, and they are the same now as when we first started:

Compassion - above all else, any organisation acting to ‘serve humanity’ has to show compassion to individuals. In Moving Mountains we don’t treat people anonymously; everybody has a story which deserves understanding and personal attention.

Integrity - we believe in acting with fairness and with a belief in doing things the right way.

Equality - helping people realise their long-term dreams and ambitions without discrimination starts with recognising people for their qualities and potential.

Collaboration - we always work in partnership with communities and have a ‘level playing field’ view where solutions are discussed and decided together. Local ownership is always uppermost in our minds, as is shared responsibility.

Confidence - everyone has dreams for a better life and control over their future, and just by giving people the confidence and self-esteem to believe in their potential is an important first step to working towards their ambitions.

Participation - nobody likes to feel as if they have to face the world alone, and we work hard to make Moving Mountains a ‘family’. Everyone has something to offer, and we promote volunteering as part of our identity and appeal.

Transparency - everything we do is discussed and agreed in partnership and we work together to monitor our impacts, justify our expenditure and report back to donors, supporters and stakeholders. We use a value or money approach throughout the project cycle to ensure economy, efficiency and effectiveness.


Trust Structure 

We are registered as a charity by the Northern Ireland Charity Commission under reference NIC 100742. The Trust was formed on 13 March 2002 as a charity and is governed by its Trust Deed signed on 1st January 2002 and further amended by special resolutions dated 11 May 2003 and 1 November 2005. The registration with the recently formed Charity Commission for Northern Ireland happened on 12 February 2015. 

Public Benefit 

The Trustees confirm that they have referred to the guidance contained in the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit when reviewing the charity’s aims and objectives and setting grant-making policies. In particular, the Trustees consider how planned activities will contribute to the aims and objectives they have set. There will be no restrictions on future grantmaking through poverty, location or lack of entitlement.

Disclosure of Information 

The Trustees who hold office confirm that they have taken all the steps that they ought to have taken as a Trustee to make themselves aware of any relevant financial information and to establish that the relevant authorities are aware of that information.

Statement of Trustees' Responsibility 

The Trustees are responsible for preparing the Trustees’ report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations. In preparing the financial statements the Trustees are required to select suitable accounting policies and apply them consistently, observe the methods and principles in the charities SORP, make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent, and prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the charity will continue its activities.

The Trustees are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the charity’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Trust. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Trust and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

The Trustees are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the financial information included on the charity’s website. Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

Risk Management 

The Trustees are satisfied that the major risks identified in the main areas - financial, governance, operational, compliance and external – are mitigated through proper and comprehensive planning and operational decision-making, management systems, insurance cover, specialist advice and holding appropriate levels of funds for residual reserves.

The risk management assessment is monitored regularly by the staff and by the Trustees. The Trustees have also considered any potential conflicts of interest and the implications of the Bribery Act 2010.

Reserve Policy 

The Trust has a reserve policy which is to provide sufficient capital to continue its grant-making programme and support future expenditure plans, and also to build up its unrestricted reserve to manage against unforeseen circumstances such as economic uncertainty. The Trustees believe that the unrestricted reserves should be maintained at a minimum of £50,000, and this policy is reviewed quarterly.

Grant Making Analysis 

Decisions on grants to Kenya, Nepal and Borneo are made by the Trustees. Trustees approve grants or fund projects which demonstrate public benefit within the remit of the Trust objectives. In addition, the Trust actively looks for projects or programmes that show leverage through involvement and additional funding from local authorities and other organisations.


Charity Objectives 

(i) the provision of financial assistance, food, clothing and shelter to children and their families who are homeless or living in desperate conditions to help advance their education, relieve their poverty and promote their ambitions, hopes and dreams.

(ii) the provision of financial assistance, advice and expertise for self-help projects, schemes and rehabilitation camps for street children in order to promote practical and vocational skills, the production of food and income, good citizenship and standing in the local community, plus an increased sense of personal self-esteem and enjoyment of life.

(iii) the financial assistance and otherwise for setting up useful rural and urban community programmes which are environmentally responsible and which promote empowerment and sustainable development; this includes facilities and projects in the interests of education, social welfare, the improvement of existing conditions and the promotion of awareness to a wider audience.

(iv) the relief of sickness and the safeguarding of health by grants of money for:

(a) the provision of drugs and medical appliances, and the support of medical and other  personnel engaged in and for such purposes.
(b) the provision and support of facilities in the interests of social welfare for the relief of sickness and distress.
(c) the promotion of public education in all matters relating to HIV and AIDS.
(d) the prevention of children's diseases through conditions brought about by severe poverty and lack of education.

(v) the development and joint maintenance of community groups in areas benefiting from all of the above whereby specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound objectives are evaluated, supervised, implemented and monitored so that the benefits can serve the community for years to come; this includes the provision of volunteers and personnel, shared management and implementation of projects, training, maintenance, advice and arbitration over problems or disputes plus assistance with accounts and records.

(vi) to advance the education of the public in global citizenship and youth development through expeditions in all areas of operation.




Gavin Bate began Moving Mountains during his years of living, travelling and working with aid organisations primarily in East Africa and Nepal. The priority was always to provide a high quality of social development which did not anonymise the beneficiaries and to deliver long term investment to people and communities. 

Gavin spent many years living in the slums near Nairobi and working with agencies that supported street children and delivered humanitarian aid to refugee areas, and he worked closely with several schools and clinics. He also travelled to the Sherpa villages in the solu Khumbu in Nepal and learnt about the issues facing mountain communities.

All of this experience eventually led to Moving Mountains, which is so-called because it reflects the overwhelming difficulties that many people face every day in their lives. It also reflects the difficulty of overcoming the dangers of stereotypes and complacency and inequality when it comes to development. 

Gavin is also a mountaineer and adventurer and has used his expeditions to raise money and awareness of the charity. Over the past twenty years he has made six expeditions to Mount Everest and one to the magnetic North Pole. He says of his trips:
"If my adventures in climbing mountains can help some people move mountains in their lives, then they will all have been a worthwhile endeavour".

Over time we helped to set up local NGOs in Kenya and Nepal, run by local committees who had worked for a long with Gavin and also Like many organisations which have developed slowly and organically over many years, Moving Mountains has built a great network of friends and supporters. Some of them have gone on to become Trustees and are still involved today. 

The UK board of trustees work closely with the Boards of both NGOs to identify causes and objectives, source the funding and deliver the programme. They then collaborate on the task of monitoring and reporting, ensuring that the programme itself has an exit strategy and does not end up creating dependency. Everyone understands that MM is not just about giving money to charity, but about supporting a successful and collaborative model of development.

“I wanted Moving Mountains to stand for something equitable, inspirational, and genuinely thoughtful in how it tackled social, economic and environmental issues" says Gavin, "we were never going to offer a glib response to complex issues, but attempt to learn and find solutions together. Choosing the right people to help me has been a journey in itself.”





Policies for Moving Mountains

Behind the scenes we have a considerable library of policies and documents which form the administrative backbone of our charity. We keep everything on cloud so that we can share the relevant documents with people, such as school governors or compliance control officers.

You can access some of our standard policies via the links below:

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

We prepare our annual reports and end of year accounts which are presented to the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and independently examined. 


2016 - 2017 Financial Statement Annual Report
2015 - 2016 Financial Statement Annual Report
2014 - 2015 Financial Statement Annual Report
2013 - 2014 Financial Statement Annual Report
2012 - 2013 Financial Statement Annual Report
2011 - 2012 Financial Statement Annual Report
2010 - 2011   Annual Report


Previous reports are available upon request.

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Adventure Alternative

Sponsor and travel provider - Adventure Alternative

Adventure Alternative supports Moving Mountains with our administrative costs and resources and is our provider for development education groups and volunteers who go and visit the areas where we work.

As a registered charity we can’t ‘run’ trips because we are not a tour operator and our expertise is in development. Adventure Alternative is the provider for transport, staffing and various other activities outside the remit of the charity as well as offering the necessary financial protection for bookings made in the UK.

Every Adventure Alternative employee has to spend a proportion of time volunteering for Moving Mountains and in fact a lot of the employees in Kenya were once beneficiaries of the charity. If you volunteer or take a trip with us, you will come across many stories of young people who were given a foothold by the charity and now have a job with the company. Employment means income and a stable income generally leads a better quality of life, certainly for the children of those employees who will never have to suffer the same privation that their parents did.

Not only that but AA generates tourism in areas where MM works, bringing revenue, jobs and business. This is particularly true in Nepal, where the villages we work in have become popular places for tourists to visit. This has promoted a strong attitude of entrepreneurship. This joint approach of capital investment from the charity plus employment and a ‘route to market’ from the company has been very successful and some of the stories are really inspirational!

A main tenet of Moving Mountains is our belief in the power of investment in social capital and social enterprise to provide long-term incomes and self-esteem. Adventure Alternative is the perfect partner to the charity and the two organisations have worked together from the beginning. Gavin Bate founded both the company and the charity in the early 1990's and the model has won awards and plaudits for its straightforward approach to business and development.

It is however important to say that none of the trustees of Moving Mountains benefit financially from the link with Adventure Alternative, even though three of the trustees are employed by the travel company. The company has been set up in part to act as beneficial partner to Moving Mountains and we can confirm that there is no conflict of interest in the relationship. 


Legality of Running Trips

Any trip abroad for volunteering or school trips falls under the legal remit of the UK Package Travel Regulations. Any organisation that provides transport, accommodation, flights or activities must comply with the rules that are there to protect the consumer. That includes having liability insurance, insolvency bonding, risk assessments and threat analyses. Adventure Alternative has all of these and we encourage you to examine all the paperwork, which we keep on cloud for easy sharing.

So, even though your volunteering trip or school expedition may seems like it’s not actually a holiday in the traditional sense of the word, it’s actually a travel package which has strict legal requirements for any organisation to follow.

All trips are managed by Adventure Alternative, but Moving Mountains collects all its fundraising targets separately. We prefer this simpler transparent model because a lot of people feel uncomfortable fundraising for 'their holiday'. With us, the money for the trip is paid separately and all of the fundraising income goes directly to the charity and the projects.