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Chris Underhill & Steve Crump

Developing an international organisation for deaf children through mentoring

Stream: Transform
Area: Mentoring
Type: Workshop
Style: Lecture

Session on Wednesday, Apr 24, 17:00
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Whilst the founding of a new not-for-profit can be exciting, it is also a stressful time for the founder. They are under immense pressure to bring their vision to life, both at the level of strategy as well as operational implementation. Notably in the start-up phase the founder can feel at any one time both exhilarated and daunted by the tasks in front of them. Mentoring and coaching can bring real benefit, resulting in a transformative experience for a founder.

We discuss the long-term mentoring relationship, as well as short-term coaching needs in a start-up. From the mentor’s point of view, this is time uniquely well spent since the start-up in question is aimed at very vulnerable Deaf children living in developing countries who are often the objects of deprivation and, worse still, serious abuse.


Steve Crump is the originator and founder of DeafKidz International and is, himself, profoundly Deaf. After operating the organisation for some time he came to the conclusion that he needed both mentoring and he also needed support with the more fundamental aspects of starting up a new organisation. He appointed Chris Underhill to be his mentor and to provide, where necessary, coaching advice in start-up technique, this to ensure the progression of DeafKidz International from start up to a robust, gainful and sustainable concern that truly impacts upon the lives of Deaf children. All of which draws reference from Chris’s own experience and success as a social entrepreneur.

Chris Underhill MBE is a serial social entrepreneur and has managed his own mentoring practice since 2001. A leading expert on global mental health practice, Chris is the founder of BasicNeeds, the mental health charity working in developing countries, and previously founded Action on Disability and Development, and Thrive. He is currently co-founding citiesRISE, which is a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to promote mental health by catalyzing collective actions across sectors within cities. A much sought-after mentor, he is a Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Fellowship, a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Salzburg Global Fellow. In 2000 Chris received the MBE from the Queen of the United Kingdom for his services to disability and development.

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