Announcement: We have joined The Gorta Group

We are excited to notify you that United Purpose, and therefore Village Aid, has merged with the Gorta Group, as of Thursday 5th August 2021. This historic event sees Village Aid become part of The Gorta Group, which trades as Self Help Africa. The combined organisation will invest up to £45 million annually in sustainable development projects that will support close to 5 million people across 17 countries.

Background to the organisations

Village Aid is a charity working to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s poorest countries across rural West Africa. We have been based at the heart of the Peak District National Park in Bakewell for nearly 30 years. Working with established partners in West Africa, Village Aid believes that African people are best placed to deal with the challenges in Africa. In 2015 we merged with United Purpose to ensure the future viability of our charity and for the last six years we have worked successfully together in partnership.

United Purpose, formerly known as Concern Universal, has worked for more than 40 years as a leader in community-led development and grassroots innovation. Operational in seven African countries, as well as Bangladesh and Brazil, UP is the largest international development organisation in Wales.

Gorta was formed in 1965 by the Irish Government in response to the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation’s call for countries to support long-term agricultural and economic development in the world’s poorest regions. Gorta currently operates in nine African countries.

Village Aid, United Purpose and Gorta have a proud history of assisting those in greatest need. For decades, they have helped poor communities to take greater control over their own lives, by providing lasting solutions, be that helping them to earn more from their work, secure sustainable sources of water, sanitation and hygiene provision or social accountability interventions.

Reason for the merger

The merger came from an awareness of the importance of the greater demand for the work UP carries out, alongside the challenge to transform the way that international development organisations do business. Both UP and Gorta have growing social enterprise subsidiaries, which they run alongside delivering on increasingly complex programmes.

The organisations have previously delivered successful mergers and are advocates for consolidation in the sector. United Purpose joined with the London Olympics Legacy Charity ‘International Inspiration’ in 2016, and of course with Village Aid in 2015. In 2014, Gorta merged with Self Help Africa, one of Ireland’s leading overseas development organisations that specialises in agriculture and enterprise development.

Contact Details

United Purpose and Village Aid continue to trade and remain registered as charities in England and Wales. United Purpose retains its head office in Cardiff and Village Aid retains its registered address in Derbyshire.

For information only, the group contact details are as follows:

Gorta, t/a The Gorta Group, a Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in Ireland

Company Reg No 28228

Charity Number: 20008895

Registered address: Kingsbridge House, 17-22 Parkgate Street, Dublin 8, Ireland

If you have any questions about the merger, please do direct them to Tim Kellow

Kind regards,

The Village Aid Board of Trustees and Team