Wednesday Day 1 Plenary


Fatima Whitbread, MBE is a world javelin champion, world record holder and twice Olympic medallist. She was honoured with the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023. The Helen Rollason Award recognises outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.

After Fatima’s inspirational career as an athlete, the former BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner headed the Chafford Hundred elite runners club whose members included Linford Christie and Dame Kelly Holmes. Fatima has served as a school governor, is a qualified javelin coach, and spent many hours reporting at the Olympics. As well as being the last woman standing on I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here, she cooked her way to total victory on the all-sport-champion’s Come Dine with Me. In addition, she took part in a celebrity version of the Channel 4 show, Total Wipeout. Fatima delved into her family history filming for Channel 5’s My Secret Past-. Fatima had a fitness strand on This Morning and has also taken part on A Question of Sport, The Wright Stuff, Celebrity BlockbustersThrough the Keyhole with Keith Lemon and co-fronted the BBC Learning Campaign – Olympic Give an Hour.

Fatima was a contestant on the highly rated ITV series Eternal Glory’- and took part in Pilgrimage: The Road to Istanbul on BBC 2. She joined six other celebrities of differing faiths and beliefs to tackle a modern-day, 2,200-km pilgrimage across Eastern Europe to the historic city of Istanbul. In 2022 Fatima appeared in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. She broke three of her ribs while jumping out of a helicopter for a challenge but hid her suffering so she wouldn’t be pulled from the show. She most recently took part in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity South Africa where she came in third place. This was a show where some of the favourite contestants across the series came together to compete against each other.

Fatima’s best-selling autobiography Fatima: The Autobiography of Fatima Whitbread was published in 1989. Fatima’s second book, Survivor was published in July 2012 and is a truly inspirational story. Her third book ‘My Bright Shining Star’ will be published in October 2024.  My Bright Shining Star follows the story of a girl who finds herself living in a shared home away from her mother, yet through the love and support provided by confidant Aunty Rae she unlocks respect, self-worth and confidence.

Fatima is an engaging speaker who talks about her rise to success as an Olympic medallist and the trials and tribulations as she reached her goal. In addition, she talks animatedly about her TV career from I’m a Celebrity to her more recent documentaries.

Fatima has recently launched a campaign called 'Fatima's UK Campaign', aimed at helping children in care and care leavers. The hope is for children to fulfil their positive potential in an environment which fosters self-worth and confidence by means of providing the necessary support & resources to give each youngster the skills and to become productive members of society. As the founder of the Charity, Fatima wants to rejuvenate the children’s care system and pursue excellence across the four nations in working with the care system to create a nationalistic framework with the summit taking place in April 2025. The inaugural Summit is being organised to bring together cross-party politicians, decision makers, and representatives from all agencies and charities involved in the care system.

Learn about Fatma's session here.

Thursday Day 2 Plenary 

Birgit Smith Burton

Jen Shang is the world’s first PhD in Philanthropy. She is also th.e world’s only philanthropic psychologist. Her research has been covered in the New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Advancing Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Times. 

Jen has been published in numerous academic journals including, the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, the Economic Journal, Experimental Economics, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Her research has been funded by the Society of Judgment and Decision Making, the National Science Foundation, The Aspen Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Hewlett Foundation.

Learn about Jen's session here.