Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

The sixth Great Debate, a joint initiative between The Birmingham Assay Office and Reed Exhibitions was held at IJL. The event featured two jewellers who are making a difference in their own way. Steve Bennett, founder of Gems TV, gave a lively account of his work in Africa, helping the communities near to the mines where he sources his gemstones. [caption id="attachment_2979" align="alignleft" width="448"] L-R Steve Bennett, Michael Allchin & Vanessa Burkitt[/caption] Working in conjunction with local charity ACE Africa, Steve has initiated projects to provide suitable accommodation for a school, fill a library with books, create work for local women making bracelets and provide simple “eco stoves” to cook on, reducing smoke damage to young lungs and also limiting the amount of wood needed. Vanessa Burkitt spoke movingly of the work of the Catherine Jones Foundation in India where it has supported the orphans of the tsunami by building a school to accommodate 1,000 orphans.  Both presentations exuded personal passion and commitment to the cause, demonstrating that everyone can make a difference in their own way.

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