Martyn Lewis’s career is an unusual blend of the media, charitable and business worlds. Over 32 years as a television journalist he presented every mainstream national news programme on Britain’s two main terrestrial channels, before moving in 1999 into the world of business where he co-founded and is European Chairman of Teliris Inc., a company which is the major global pioneer and technology leader in a new “realtime” communications business space known as Telepresence. He is also Chairman of NICE TV, which works with ITN to provide high quality news videos for annual industry-wide conferences, exhibitions and events.
Martyn is the Founder and Chairman of YouthNet, the award-winning charity which, since 1995, has been providing a comprehensive internet site signposting 16-24 year-olds to every conceivable form of help, information or opportunity they might need – www.thesite.org. It is accessed by more than half a million young people every month. YouthNet also provides the UK’s national volunteering database – www.do-it.org.uk – listing and regularly updating over a million volunteering opportunities available across the UK ; and, more recently, www.lifetracks.com – with comprehensive help for young people who are out of work.
Other charitable involvement includes : President of United Response, helping people with learning disabilities ; Chairman of the Awards Committee of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (the equivalent of an MBE for groups); Chairman & Co-Founder of Families Of The Fallen, raising extra funds for the families of servicemen & women killed in recent conflicts, Trustee of the Windsor Leadership Trust, bringing together and helping to develop the leaders of tomorrow across all sectors of society ; Permanent Deputy Chair of the Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Awards, honouring companies for the work they and their employees do to help disadvantaged areas of our community ; and Vice-President of all three main national Hospice charities for whom he is a regular speaker at individual hospice fund-raising dinners. He becomes Chairman of NCVO in November 2010.
Martyn regularly chairs debates in the corporate, charitable and public sectors, including – for the World Bank on Leadership in Emerging Nations, for the European Commission (on stem cells) and for the European Brain Council (on Parkinson’s Disease and Depression). At the UK 2010 General Election he chaired a closed-circuit TV programme at Tate Britain for the Wall Street Journal, interviewing leading political and business figures throughout the evening as the results came in.
He is the author of seven books, ranging from the humorous best-seller “Cats In The News” to “Tears and Smiles – The Hospice Handbook”, the first layman’s guide to the British Hospice movement, and “Reflections on Success” for which he interviewed 67 famous achievers from all walks of life.
In his broadcasting career, he also presented documentaries and special live programmes on major events, including the start of the first Gulf War and the death of the Princess of Wales. He wrote and produced the best-selling 2-hour ITV video on the Falklands War – “Battle for the Falklands”.
“And Finally…..”, the book on the history of Independent Television News, describes him as “simply one of the best news story film-makers ITN ever employed”.
In 1993, he made the news himself with two controversial and widely-debated speeches arguing for a shift in the agenda of TV news programmes to achieve a fairer balance between the positive and the negative, and analyse success and achievement as well as failure – a theme to which he recently returned in a contribution to a book, “Media Values”.
Lewis is a vice-president of Hospice UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Macmillan Cancer Support, East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) and Demelza Children’s Hospice.
He is president of United Response, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities or mental health needs to live in the community. He founded the youth charity YouthNet in 1995, and stayed as chairman until stepping down in July 2014, though he remains an advisor.
In 2010 he became chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, an umbrella body for charities in England and Wales with over 11,000 members.
Martyn is a patron of The Patchwork Foundation, the quarterly broadsheet Positive News, and Dementia UK.
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