The founder of the OUTCAST FOUNDATION is Tony Wood, originally a classical musician who went on to become a successful consulting engineer in the energy industries and a specialist in the design of safety-critical hazardous process equipment and renewable energy systems on land and sea, often operating in extreme environments. He has been a technical adviser to many of the world’s largest energy companies, including the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence.
Having worked in many countries, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, he was also responsible for the setting up of a large number of subsidiary offfices and agencies in very diverse environments – from the Tundra of Norway, through the jungles of Malaysia, to the deserts of the Middle East – working alongside, integrating with and training people from many different cultures and walks of life.
Retiring from engineering, Wood went on to live in France, for many years pursuing personal interests in the arts and philanthropy whilst further developing his life-long interests in spirituality, personal development, learning to harness and direct the the subconscious mind, and healing through natural forces and prayer in conjunction with modern medical and scientific methods. During this period of relative isolation, the germ of an idea to dedicate the remainder of his life to helping others by using his own unique skills was gradually developing.
Moving on to Spain, he was involved in founding a new branch of Lions Clubs International in North Mallorca, also working in close collaboration with the President and Government of the Balearics Islands, together with the Balearics Symphony Orchestra in various charitable projects.
Following years of interest and study of Eastern European history and culture (including an earlier spell in Poland immediately following the fall of the Berlin wall), a move to Romania eventually ensued, which provided the opportunity to work on creating his own NGO involving re-training the young and long-term unemployed in modern business and technological skills.
However, with the onset of financial difficulties resulting from the depletion of his own financial resources, in January of 2017 Wood by necessity returned to the UK following a 17 year period of absence, during which time the country seemed to have transformed almost beyond recognition – still a power house of resourceful and bustling humanity, but one of growing social problems and uncertain future.
Finding himself alone and homeless on the unfamiliar streets of London, The Big Issue magazine and Foundation came to his aid, providing him with the resources and tools enabling him not only to survive but even to continue supporting his young family still in Eastern Europe, whilst being able to observe life on the street at first hand – an ongoing project and study of humanity, resourcefulness, kindness, love and respect in its many varied forms.
The OUTCAST FOUNDATION is not only the culmination of a lifetime’s work and experiences but also a testimony to the courage and humanity of the many people living and working in the nation’s capital from all walks of life, nationalities, faiths and observances without whose ongoing support it would never have been possible.