One of the world’s most acclaimed South Asian musicians has joined Barnardo’s as an international ambassador, in a huge boost for the children’s charity.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan accepted the offer after topping the bill at the sell-out Annual Gala Dinner at London’s Dorchester Hotel for the UK’s South Asian community to support Barnardo’s work with vulnerable children and young people across the UK.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan becomes the second international ambassador to join Barnardo’s, after Bollywood super-star Salman Khan pledged his support in September.
The renowned Pakistani singer played a mesmerising set of traditional Qawali music in front of celebrity guests including Barnardo’s ambassadors Andy Serkis, Nicola Roberts, Lydia Bright and Debbie Douglas, along with new supporters including celebrated musician Naughty Boy and top TV presenter Sonali Shah.
The gala raised funds for Barnardo’s and was put together by live events specialists PME with the theme of “It’s time to give back”, giving the UK’s South Asian community the chance to support vulnerable children, young people and families from all backgrounds across the UK.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “It’s a huge honour that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has agreed to become Barnardo’s International Ambassador. The maestro comes from a 600 year old family heritage of Qawali singing and has a huge global following and influence.
“He was very generous in his praise for Barnardo’s work to help vulnerable children and young people - last year alone we reached 272,000 children, young people, carers and parents.
“Barnardo’s works in a wide range of communities across the UK. From our earliest days over 150 years ago, Barnardo’s has been proud to help those who need us most, regardless of cultural or religious background.
“We have always valued and respected diversity at our core. Britain’s Asian communities have made a huge contribution to UK life, and helped develop a respect for and tolerance of difference, making this great country a vibrant place in which to live and work.”
The singer was presented with his international ambassador certificate by Barnardo’s Board of Trustees Chairman Tony Cohen.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan said: “I’m honoured to become an international ambassador for Barnardo’s as I know how hard the charity works to support vulnerable children, young people, carers and parents of all backgrounds in the UK, including those with South Asian roots.
“It was wonderful to be able to perform in the intimate setting of the Dorchester Hotel and raise funds for Barnardo’s, and I’m looking forward to working with the charity so that more children who have experienced tough situations in the past can look forward to a better future.”