Soul Device

Philanthropic blog

Tony Bloom and His Philanthropic Works

May 10th, 2016

Tony BloomTony Bloom, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman and major stockholder and investor is a man that’s more than just all sports and business. His contributions to the sport may have earned him the “Brightonian of the Year” award in 2009 but his philanthropic achievements have earned him the respect and gratitude of many.

He has established the “Bloom Foundation”, formerly known as the ‘Tony Bloom Charitable Trust’. Its charitable objects state that is aims for “the prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. To promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable under the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.”

The charity’s main focus is poverty in Europe, the United Kingdom and the numerous developing countries in Asia and Africa. Among the causes to which it offers grant for include health and wellbeing, famine relief, hunger, economic and community development, training and education, employment, poverty relief and life saving efforts.

The Bloom Foundation is composed of five trustees including Tony himself, his wife Linda, Marcelle Lester, Marc Sugarma and Adam Franks. In March of 2015, the charity has £3.1 million worth of income from voluntary pledges and donations and £1.9 million worth of spending on charitable activities, governance and investment management. Its books show a 61% utilization of resources for charitable spending, 1% for income generation activities and the remaining 38% retained for future purposes.

Apart from the said charity, Tony also supports another cause particularly that set up by his wife called the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation. About fifteen years ago, Linda herself was diagnosed with the disabling condition that affects the central nervous system. During her first months, her situation became so bad that she couldn’t even lift a pen. After several methods and a lifestyle change, she eventually managed to get MS under control. Still, the said condition has no known cause and cure yet. The foundation is meant to help patients understand their situation and guide in terms of informed decisions and lifestyle improvement.

In 2011 and 2015, Tony Bloom ran the Brighton marathon in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the OMS Foundation and Multiple Sclerosis.

Tony Bloom on Raising Awareness for Multiple Sclerosis

March 25th, 2016

Linda-Bloom-MSAround fifteen years ago, Tony Bloom, famous businessman, wealthy investor and chairman to the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C., received a blow to the stomach. Figuratively, that is.

Married to Australian born psychologist Linda who happens to have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Tony recalls the process to be painful emotionally and physically.

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a chronic, unpredictable and often progressive disease that comes in the form of relapses that affects the central nervous system. It attacks and destroys tissues in the brain and spinal cord. To be specific, it comes as a misdirected attack from the immune system that targets the white, fatty material that coats nerve fibers called the myelin. Myelin is important as it insulates and speeds the transmission of nerve signals relaying information into, within, and out of the brain and spinal cord. When damaged or destroyed, the flow of the said signals results to a variety of neurological problems including numbness, blindness and paralysis.

What’s interesting and also alarming about MS is the fact that it has no known cause or definite cure. Its symptoms are different for each patient and vary in severity and duration. Some of these symptoms include tingling, numbness, weakness, balance and vision problems, tremors, fatigue, lack of coordination, spasticity, slurred speech, bowel or bladder problems, troubles with memory or reasoning, depression and partial or complete paralysis among others.

Although Multiple Sclerosis has a number of symptoms that create severe disability and discomfort, it does not exactly shorten a person’s life span. However, the symptoms over time can result to other complications.

In Linda Bloom’s case, Tony remembers her first months to be so awful that she could barely move her limbs. Getting up from a couch seemed impossible and lifting a pen was too herculean an effort. At present and with the help of proper diet, adequate exercise, self-hypnosis, meditation yoga, and a lifestyle geared towards health and optimism, she has gotten her condition in control and is doing better.

It is for the same reason why Linda and Tony Bloom set up the OMSF which stood for “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation” together with fellow trustees Joe Murray, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester. It is a charity geared towards helping patients afflicted with MS make better informed decisions and improve the state they are in.

In a bid to raise awareness and funds for the cause and the OMSF, Tony Bloom has run two Brighton Marathons, one in 2011 and the other in 2015.