We’re not here to change the whole world, but we are working to change things for two lively and wonderfully warm communities of orphaned and abandoned children in South Africa.

Love Is All We Need is a UK-based charity that raises funds to support orphans in Pietermaritzburg and nearby Sweetwaters in KwaZulu Natal. This part of South Africa has been harshly affected by HIV/AIDS.

The money we raise helps to provide these children with clothing, access to education, opportunities and love that they wouldn’t otherwise get.

Running on love

We’re based in Brighton & Hove and have a relatively small, but very dedicated group of supporters and volunteers. A number of us involved in the charity have personally met the children we have supported for nearly a decade. We’ve watched them grow from infants to brave and sparky children. We have no paid staff, and the charity runs on love, with every penny our regular givers donate, going towards our causes. We’d love your help.

Our roots

Our story has its roots in 1997, when the rest of the world was just beginning to realise the immense effect that HIV/AIDs was having in Sub-Saharan Africa. In South African hospitals though, doctors and nurses were seeing the devastation  first-hand. 

Lisa Carelse, a qualified nurse, first met Gail Trollip in KwaZulu Natal in 1997. Gail was a tutor during Lisa’s midwifery training in Pietermaritzburg. Each day they delivered babies, some who had full blown AIDS, from infected mothers. At this stage antiretrovirals were not freely available in South Africa. Although many children survived, their mothers did not, and the number of orphans skyrocketed.

In 2002, Lisa came to the UK, but still kept in touch with Gail, who had at this stage just set up the Hope Centre in Pietermaritzburg. In 2005, Lisa met Marion Ancker in London. Marion was looking for people to help her support a children's project in South Africa. She was creating a Valentine's event called Love Is All We Need. This was so inspiring, it led to forming Love Is All We Need, the company, in January 2006 and then registering as a UK charity in November 2006.

Through the passion and commitment of a small group of volunteers, the charity has continued to thrive and support the projects that first inspired us. 

Our latest news

  • Bev's visited to the Hope Centre 2016 | Story 1

    Bev's visited to the Hope Centre 2016 | Story 1

      Bev, one of our founding trustees, had the delight of spending two months in South Africa early this year.  She spent lots of time at the Hope Centre, both speaking with Gail ( who runs the centre) , and being with the kids. She has so many stories and special times to share with us all, we're gonna share stories over the next newsletters. Here is her first account : I love the Hope Centre , and this visit was just gonna be so special.  Lisa ( our previous chairperson and trustee) and I were visiting together for the very first time together.  Lisa is the reason I ever became involved in the Hope Centre..... Some 12 years ago, we've been trustees of LIAWN together, run marathons together, you name it, we've done it.... All in the name of love !  We are passionate about this place and these kids and visiting together just so special.  We agreed to meet at the centre early one morning and were like excited children as we stood outside of the centre.  We walked in, bumping into Eric ( the head of the school) and Lynette ( teaches at the school), before going upstairs to see Gail.  Isobel, Val and Jean were upstairs too, and it felt like a family reunion.  We all came together for coffee and chatted and laughed about what the kids are up to, the lovely and funny stories that happen daily at the centre.  There are two American volunteers at the centre at the moment, and they brought the "bunnies" ( the pre school kids) in to see us.  These little ones are just the cutest, Lisa and I were straight in there for cuddles, and we were treated to a "show" of some songs they had been learning.  It wasn't long before some of the older kids heard there were " visitors" in the building , and we soon had lots of little faces peering around the door. Lisa and I were so excited placing names to the faces, some of these kids we have known since they were babies and toddlers, and they are now 8-13, it's is such a joy to be here with Lisa, to be connecting with the incredible women who run the centre, and to catch up with the kids.   Until next time - Bev x  

Visit us on Flickr