Camila Batmanghelidjh

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Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE
Camila Batmanghelidjh, April 2008(1).jpg
Camila Batmanghelidjh receiving her honorary doctorate from the Open University in April 2008
Born 1 January 1963 age 52
Tehran, Iran
Known for Businesswoman, author and philanthropist
Camila Batmanghelidjh's voice
Recorded January 2013 from the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs

Camila Batmanghelidjh, CBE (/kəˈmɪlə bætmænˈɡɛlɨ/) (Persian: کامیلا باتمانقلیچ‎) (born 1963) is a British businesswoman, charity leader and author. She is best known as the founder and chief executive of Kids Company, a charity providing practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people in the UK.

Early life[edit]

Batmanghelidjh was born on 1 January 1963 in Tehran. Her mother was a Belgian Roman Catholic, while her father was the controversial Iranian doctor Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. Born two and a half months premature, she is chronically dyslexic.[1] In 1974 she moved to the United Kingdom and attended Sherborne Girls, a fee-paying boarding school in Dorset.[2] She attended the University of Warwick, graduating with a first-class degree in Theatre and Dramatic Arts, before training as a psychotherapist at Regent's University London.[3]


In 1991 Batmanghelidjh established The Place to Be (now Place2Be), a charity that works with troubled children in Primary Schools.[4] Place2Be now reaches 80,000 children, working in 210 schools across the UK.[5]

Kids Company[edit]

Main article: Kids Company

In 1996, after leaving the Place2Be, Batmanghelidjh founded Kids Company, a charity that provides wrap around care to children whose lives have been disrupted by poverty, abuse and trauma. Originally a single drop-in centre in Camberwell, Kids Company's services reach an estimated 36,000 children, young people and families. The charity operates through a network of street level centres, alternative education centres, therapy houses and with over 40 schools in London and Bristol as well as a performing arts programme in Liverpool.[6]

In July 2015 a report by Newsnight and BuzzFeed revealed that public funding for Kid's Company was to be withheld unless Batmanghelidjh was replaced.[7] On 3 July it was reported that Batmanghelidjh will step down as chief executive in the next few months and continue in a "presidential" role.[8][9]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2009 Batmanghelidjh was named Businesswoman of the Year by the Dods and Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Awards.[10] She has also received Ernst and Young's Social Entrepreneur of the Year award (2006), Third Sector Magazine's Most Admired Chief Executive (2007) and the Centre for Social Justice's lifetime achievement award in 2009. Batmanghelidjh has been awarded received honorary degrees and doctorates by several universities including York St John University, the Open University and Nottingham Trent University.[11][12][13] In February 2013, she was named one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[14] In the same month, she was appointed an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to children and young people.[15] In September 2014 she became an Honorary Fellow of UCL.


  • Batmanghelidjh, Camila (2007). Shattered Lives. London: Jessica Kingsley. ISBN 1-8431-0603-5. 
  • Batmanghelidjh, Camila (1977). Mind the Child. London: Particular Books, Penguin Random House. ISBN 1-8461-4655-0. 


  1. ^ Interview by Deborah Orr (3 January 2009). "Colourful character: Camila Batmanghelidjh on her unique approach to charity work – Profiles – People". The Independent. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "How to Make a Difference". 3 August 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Foreign & Commonwealth Office". Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Sally Williams (27 September 2007). "Place2B: It's Goood to Talk". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "What We Do". The Place2B. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Camila Batmanghelidjh: ‘I chose the vocation’". The Guardian. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Chris Cook (3 July 2015). "Kids Company's Camila Batmanghelidjh asked to step down by government". BBC News. 
  8. ^ Patrick Butler (3 July 2015). "Camila Batmanghelidjh to leave Kids Company, citing political 'ugly games'". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  9. ^ John Bingham (5 July 2015). "Kids Company under new Charity Commission scrutiny amid fears for its future". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Past winners 2009". Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Haydn Lewis (14 November 2013). "York St John University degree results – Day 2". The York Press. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Honorary Graduates 2008". The Open University. 25 April 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Charity leader Camila Batmanghelidjh to receive honorary degree". Nottingham Trent University. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour - The Power List 2013". BBC. 
  15. ^ "2013 Honours List" (PDF). Retrieved 2 September 2014. 

External links[edit]