THE UKares STORY

UKares was born in 2012 and nonprofit status was granted in July of 2014. We are a nonprofit to assist and advise individuals or families from the UK and Commonwealth countries living in the Greater Los Angeles area, who find themselves in desperate times of need, transition or crisis. Simply put, we are a helping hand wrapped in a red, white and blue glove. Some place you can turn to when it seems like all hope is lost. You may just need advice on renewing a visa or how to get insurance, or perhaps assistance after an accident, or to plan a funeral. One thing is for sure, we’ll be there to steer you right, get you back on your feet and help you on your way.

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Ukares is a nonprofit to assist and advise individuals or families from the UK and Commonwealth countries living abroad who find themselves in desperate times of need, transition or crisis. Simply put we are a helping hand wrapped in a red white blue glove. Some place you can turn to when it seems like all hope is lost. You may just need advice on renewing a visa or how to get insurance, or perhaps assistance after an accident, or to plan a funeral. One thing is for sure we’ll be there to steer you right, get you back on your feet and help you on your way.

Lets face it…moving to a foreign country can be very daunting, and for some very lonely. I know I was homesick for the first three months of moving here, and back then there didn’t seem to be much of a British community. Many move here to carve out careers in the entertainment industry, some in technology, building trade, service industry and to look after other people’s children.

Most people that move to a land far away probably had a similar dream.  But dreams don’t come without challenges and life can throw us all curve balls, situations that can set us back.

So what are some of the things we would like to do with your donations? Your hard earned cash, there are so many deserving charities out there why should you give it us. What’s that I hear, why doesn’t your family help you? why not get a job? Whats wrong with you? We all have to do it…

Well it’s quite difficult if you are the young British lady who is recovering from a ruptured Brain aneurysm who was working freelance for  a valet parking company. She will have to go through months of therapy to learn how to speak again, to gain strength in her muscles to be able to walk again. And who knows how long before she can get back to parking cars again. Her 18 year old Son just sold her car to help pay their rent and bills, her friends rallied round last week to raise money for her, they did well and raised 20 thousand dollars for her. But in all seriousness that’s probably only going to last six months. She needs our help.

One particular story I heard that inspired and motivated me into gathering this great group of people was the story of Max, a 12 year old boy who was killed in a hit and run car accident at the side of a freeway, his Mother and sister were also critically injured. His family didn’t have the money to bury their son. He wasn’t allowed to have a proper send off, in a dignified manner..

Once again the family’s friends and neighbors raised funds for Max and gave him the funeral he deserved.

Every week we a hearing from members in need, stories of domestic abuse, loved ones passing, stories of people falling off balconies and their insurance won’t cover the cost of a wheelchair.

Some one having to flying home with serious illnesses that even with insurance here they can’t afford the premiums or co-pays to have the operations here. And we kept thinking there must be something we can do to help and things that can be done.

So, one of the few things we would like to do is to have an advice centre where people can drop in and we have expert staff on call who can answer questions , getting people the right HELP they need, whether it be medical, employment or even finding out what your options are when renewing a visa CAN BE VERY STRESSFUL

Align ourselves with airline companies who can donate or offer discounted emergency flights between America and the UK for those who can’t afford to visit a dying parent, or we maybe able to suggest the right assisted living place for a recent widower who is elderly. Home-help to an individual who can no longer tend to him or herself.

Provide rides to those that can no longer drive. Assist a man who got laid off from work get back on his feet by helping him to effectively find a new job., Safe housing to those who may have found themselves in a dangerous situation.

Advice and assistance is key in all of these situations. And it’s our way of saying “When No One Else Cares -UKares.”

So please help us, as these situations could happen to any of us or someone you know, and wouldn’t be nice to know that there is somewhere you can turn to?

By making a tax deductible donation to our charity, you can help us in our mission to make sure that, when a disaster or tragedy happens to one of our fellow UK and Commonwealth citizens, we can come to the rescue when no one else can. No one expects the unexpected and it could happen to any one of us. From providing a ticket home, to helping with medical costs, to giving help and advice.

Patrons

Executive Board Members

MARC-CONNEELY

MARC CONNEELY | Chairman and Founding Member

Marc Conneely launched MTV across the world, starting in Europe and becoming President MTV China. He also ran News Corp’s Pay-Per-View business, based in London. He launched his own business, Wedding TV, which went on to become a highly successful network and won ‘Best Specialist Channel 2008′. He is based in Los Angeles, California and is President of the home organizational product company, Ganizer (www.ganizer.com).
Marc has been Chairman of the UKares Foundation since it was formed in 2012.

CRAIG-YOUNG

 CRAIG YOUNG | CEO/ President and Founding Member

Craig Young was born in Nottingham, England and moved to the U.S. in 1999 after a successful career in the  recording industry and as a television actor. Having experienced the challenges of moving abroad firsthand, in 2007 Craig co-established the online social community Brits in LA.

Craig is dedicated to the cause of UKares and is extremely proud of the team that continues to work tirelessly on its behalf. His goal for UKares is to ensure that individuals or families from the UK and commonwealth countries have a helping hand through assistance and guidance in times of difficulty and transition.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS: Committee member of BAFTA/LA, Guild member of SAG-AFTRA & BRITISH EQUITY.

MARINA-PAGANUCCI

 MARINA PAGANUCCI | COO and Founding Member

Marina Paganucci is the COO of UKares and an Executive Board member. She is one of the founding members of the charity, and has a real passion in making a difference in the community. Marina was raised in HongKong, Singapore and the UK and has spent most of her career in executive recruitment across Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and the US. She has owned her own executive search and management training companies in Asia and the US, and in her spare time has been an active board member of charities like UNIFEM as well as being a life coach. She has lived in LA since 2008 with her daughter, husband and two dogs.

ADAM-BEACH

ADAM BEACH | Treasurer

Adam Beach relocated to Los Angeles in 2008 from London, with a strong background in European financial client relations. Since 2003, Beach has been providing clients with comprehensive wealth management solutions. Since opening it’s door in 2009, Beach Financial Group has grown into a full-service insurance agency focused not only on the European Market but large group and small groups packages for retail, medical and law offices, restaurants and more. Beach is firmly committed to long-term client relationships and through financial planning helps his clients with retirement, education, estate & insurance planning strategies.

Adam became the Ukares treasurer in 2014.

FIONA-HARDEN

FIONA HARDEN | Director Of Events

Fiona and her family made Los Angeles their home in 2012, having spent over 30 years living and working in the UK, Cyprus, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Passionate about getting involved and making a difference in these diverse countries, Fiona became heavily involved in community projects and organizations (including the Tokyo International Players, Tokyo British Embassy Choir, International Festival Singapore Chorus, St. David’s and St. George’s Society). Heading up and being part of various boards she helped raise funds for important local charities and larger global ones, such as Make A Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF.

A qualified Interior Designer for many years, Fiona has recently acquired her California Realtor license. She loves the creative, entrepreneurial spirit of Los Angeles and is excited to work with such a talented team who share the vision of building a much needed foundation that can support fellow UK and Commonwealth compatriots, whilst also giving back to the local community.

Advisory Board. John Scott, Guy Salisbury, Shirley Greene, Kris Lythgoe, Vicki Skipworth, Sandro Monetti, Katy Haber, MBE, Jane Owen, Dr. David Bull, Barbara Morgan, Louisa Spring, William Smith, Kim Morgan Greene.