Philanthropy Impact

Inspiring philanthropy and social investment across borders, sectors and causes

Liz Earle MBE

Founder of LiveTwice and ambassador for The Prince's Trust

Liz Earle MBE

Personal story

Liz Earle MBE is the writer, broadcaster and award-winning entrepreneur who co-founded the botanical skincare company, Liz Earle Beauty Co. Her new venture, Liz Earle Wellbeing highlights the importance of food issues for eating well and she has also started her own charity LiveTwice. She is an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and a 'face' of their Tomorrow campaign; an advocate for The Soil Association; an ambassador for The Sustainable Food Trust; and a newly appointed Patron of ACE Africa. Liz lives in the West Country with her husband and five children, where they run an organic livestock farm.

“Giving philanthropically isn’t only about donating money - far from it. We can all give our time, energy and ideas to a cause in a small or large way and make a genuine difference. I feel very lucky to have been given an opportunity to share not just my financial success but my business know-how, contacts, inspiration and drive to encourage those less fortunate. It is incredibly rewarding and confirms to me every day that it is always better to give than to receive.”

When Liz and close friend, Kim Buckland set up Liz Earle Beauty Co in 1995, they ensured a charity budget was in place from day one. As women with children themselves, they focused primarily on supporting projects and organisations that helped other women and children as well as several local charities near to the company’s base on the Isle of Wight.

On her botanical field trips across the world, Liz has encountered countless instances where individuals were desperately in need of primary skills, education and an opportunity in life. “The more I travel, the more I realise how great the need is for providing opportunity and practical help, and that just a small amount of strategic, carefully placed support can go an incredibly long way in developing a community and improving the lives of many.”  

The idea of giving a hand-up rather than a hand-out was the inspiration behind the launch of Liz’s own charity, LiveTwice, in 2012. A ‘second chance’ charity, it works with disadvantaged communities in both the UK and abroad, empowering others to make the most of their lives for themselves and their families. LiveTwice is small with just a handful of trustees. It sole funds and partner funds projects where one or more of the Trustees has a personal collection and understanding of what is needed. “A small team is important to us. It means lower overheads and, as I underwrite all the working costs of the charity, this allows us to ensure that every single penny of donated money goes to the causes we support. Being small, nimble and low cost stands LiveTwice apart from other charities.”

Some of those who have received LiveTwice’s help include a socially excluded community in Italy; slum-dwelling street children in Nairobi and unemployed youths in Manchester. Their needs are hugely different, but the aim remains the same – that each individual the charity supports is given the opportunity for a second chance in life, to the benefit of both themselves and wider society.

Also key to LiveTwice’s work, is the desire to build a project’s future sustainability so that it can continue to flourish in its own right. One such example is Noah’s House in Dorset, a home-from-home that provides respite care for children and young adults with a range of disabilities, and the first project to be started by LiveTwice. By increasing awareness and encouraging Noah’s House to form greater links with the local community, the respite centre has now become independently successful and largely self-funding.

Sustainability is also achieved by the ripple effect – those that have been helped going on to help others. While working with the African charity HopeHIV, Liz came across Elias who was addicted to glue-sniffing to deaden his hunger, involved in gangland petty crime and living on the streets. After attending one of HopeHIV’s rehabilitation programmes, his life changed for the better. He is now completing a university course and intends to return to the Kibera slums where he once lived to encourage others to turn their lives around too.