Active Change Foundation

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The Active Change Foundation is a UK registered charity and company. It focuses on 'preventing radicalization' which it calls 'the under-pinning foundation of our work'.[1] 'We are fighting', notes the ACF website, 'an ideology, and one that must be fought in the hearts and minds of every individual person'.[1]

ACF was incorporated on 12 October 2006 appointing Shereen Qadir, Nafees Ali and Mohammod Yunus as directors. The form was witnessed by Hanif Qadir.

ACF adopted a new memorandum of association on 15 April 2008 which 'deleted' in its 'entirety' the existing Memorandum and Articles of Association.[2] Documents at Companies House show that the meeting to pass the resolution to approve the memorandum took place on 10 January 2008 at 10am at the offices of Forward Thinking the charity associated with Oliver McTernan. The document was signed by David Gilbertson who was listed as a 'Senior Associate Fellow, United Kingdom Defence Academy, (Consultant/Advisor to ACF), for and on behalf of Hanif Qadir, Director'.[3]

ACF was registered as a charity on 19 September 2008.


According to a declassified US diplomatic cable ACF was visited by US government officials (EUR Senior Advisor for Muslim Engagement Farah Pandith and S/P Member Jared Cohen) on 9 October 2007, shortly after it had been founded.[4]

13. (SBU) Pandith and Cohen attended three events specifically aimed at hearing the concerns of Muslim youth in London. On October 9 they traveled to the East London neighborhood of Waltham Forest, a largely Muslim area that is plagued by urban problems including drugs, youth gangs, violence (three young people were shot close to the meeting site that same evening), and a significant radical Muslim presence. There they met with young Muslims, journalists, and community leaders, including the Mayor of Waltham Forest and two Borough Councillors, under the auspices of the Active Change Foundation (ACF), a recently-launched leadership training program targeted at Muslim youth in deprived areas of East London. The ACF had just finished recruiting its first class of young men and women to participate in the ACF's inaugural leadership training course. During the meeting, the young people present repeated several times to Pandith and Cohen that they want the skills and the opportunities to be able to represent their views to the media and to decision makers. Although the journalists kept interjecting foreign policy issues such as Iraq and Israel/Palestine, the young people stressed that while those issues might be of some concern, the real issues in their lives are jobs, education, and empowerment. After a lively exchange, the ACF students presented a grant application for Embassy consideration, and both sides pledged that the link forged that evening would be maintained.


Lesley Simm - CEO from 2008-? | Chris Donnelly - Director 2008-17 | Dan Lafayeedny - Director 2014-17 | David Gilbertson - Director 2015-17



Funders and Partners

External resources

  • Co-founder Hanif Qadir is an interviewee in 'Changing Jihadi Minds' on BBC Radio 4's The Report [Reporter John Ware].
  • Co-founder Mike Jervis appears in Channel Four documentary as a de-radicalisation expert in My Son the Jihadi in October 2015. [6]
  • Memorandum from the London Borough of Waltham Forest (PVE 46) September 2009. Communities and Local Government Select Committee.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Active Change Foundation bout Us. Accessed 26 December 2015.
  2. Companies House Active Change Foundation. Accessed 18 December 2018.
  3. Active Change Foundation Resolution of adoption of Memorandum of Association, Companies House 15 Apr 2008
  4. SUBJECT: EUR SENIOR ADVISOR PANDITH AND S/P ADVISOR COHEN'S VISIT TO THE UK, OCTOBER 9-14, 2007 Thursday, 25 October 2007, 16:38 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 LONDON 004045, SIPDIS EO 12958 DECL: 10/17/2017 - TAGS PGOV, PREL, KISL, PTER, SCUL, UK, REF: LONDON 4030 Classified By: DCM Richard LeBaron for reasons 1.4 b, d. Published as US embassy cables: A quickfire tour of Muslim Britain, The Guardian, 13 December 2010.
  5. #notinmyname: Muslims use social media to fight ISIS,
  6. Dir: Peter Beard; Exec Prod: Brian Woods; Prod Co: True Vision Productions