Lauren Gillis, business woman, social entrepreneur and passionate about creating opportunities for others. While studying Social Work at Wits University, she was already instrumental in forming the Down Syndrome Association. She has since developed a number of philanthropic organisations including PADI (People for Awareness on Disability Issues) and The Jardine Joggers (now affiliated to Achilles International based in New York), enabling people with different disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics.
She spent many years in various businesses from textiles to containerised housing and in the field of Rehabilitation of Newly Blinded. She completed the Comrades Marathon and the personal challenge of such a physical test along with training and guiding of blind runners, and preparing and taking physically and mentally challenged athletes through marathons, including the New York Marathon, has been a highlight of her life.
Lauren is the founder of Relate, an amazing social enterprise. It was was founded with the vision to help people in need of an opportunity to better their circumstances, whilst also providing an effective, sustainable and tangible fundraising tool for charitable causes. Lauren’s vision was to find simple creative solutions to creating employment and lessen the economic divide. Since 2010 Relate has raised over R45million, sold over 2.6 million bracelets, supported over 90 causes globally and positively impacted thousands of lives.
In 2012 Lauren’s Tedx Cape Town talk was entitled Redefining Philanthropy. In 2013 she was awarded the Paul Harris award by Rotary for her exceptional service to the community.
Come and be inspired by this extraordinary woman as she shares lessons learned on her life journey