My week: Mark Waddington

War Child's chief executive shakes the hand of one rock legend and secures the help of another.

Mark Waddington
Mark Waddington

Monday: Unfortunately I didn't make it to the legendary Led Zeppelin concert at the Albert Hall in 1970. But I'm there today with Scarlet Page, daughter of Jimmy Page, the band's guitarist. Scarlet is there to launch her superb exhibition of intimate photos of rock stars with their children. I meet Jimmy - can't wait to tell the guys about this back in the pub and will not be washing the hand that shook his. Scarlet is wonderfully pregnant. Her exhibition, Your Child, is a fundraiser for War Child at the Albert Hall, where her mum and dad actually met in 1970. Another rock 'n' roll moment.

Tuesday: IT is without doubt the most important technology to our sector. But planning and managing it is bollocks. As part of our quarterly review, our resident IT genius provides us with an update on his work. He generously offers to help with any technology frustrations. I mention that my laptop is sluggish and might have a virus. "No, Mark", says our genius. "That's just Microsoft Windows for you, mate." As I said, it's bollocks.

Wednesday: We plan our security training with a focus on finding new ways of securing our humanitarian space. People have the right to aid on the basis of need, and ensuring this happens is increasingly difficult. When coalition forces distributed leaflets in southern Afghanistan stating that communities must provide information about the Taliban or forfeit aid, our humanitarian space was assaulted. This condemned the majority, who have no such information, to a lack of help, and it turned public opinion against those who provide aid. I very much hope that our security training will enable us to continue to develop our safe access to the children we exist to serve, and that we can continue to do it in a way that maintains the integrity of our humanitarian space.

Thursday: Fantastic news: David Bowie has agreed to support the music project we're planning for 2008. Result! Securing celebrity support is harder than people who don't work for charities might think. A 'yes' like this can turn an idea into a reality.

Friday: I spend the day with the Tories' international development team (the dark side of the force), helping to shape their views on fragile states - in particular, child protection in those locations. These guys want to make a difference, and getting a policy like this right could benefit many more children than War Child works with directly.

- War Child works with others to protect marginalised children in areas of conflict.

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