Links was established in 1985 by Norman and Grace Barnes as a way of helping the world’s poor help themselves out of poverty. It was originally based at Oasis House, Chadwell Heath, Essex.
From the outset, Norman and Grace’s dream was that Links would inspire people into the adventure of ‘hearing the cry of the poor and providing a 'hand up, not hand out’. This ethos still underlines all of our work. The ripple effect of change that we see proves that this kind of change is sustainable
In 2003, the Links Head Office moved from Chadwell Heath to its current location in Rustington, Littlehampton. Around the same time, Links USA was established to help extend the work of Links International. The Links USA office is now based in Houston, Texas and is headed up by Jason and Holly Bollinger.
In 2006, Rich Hubbard became a Co-Director with Norman, having been involved with Links since 1998.
Rich became CEO with Norman as a Co-Director. Norman officially retired from Links in 2008.
Links South Africa, under the leadership of Mike and Beryl Godward, and Links Canada were established to serve these regions for a limited season. Both offices ceased to operate in 2010
With Rich at the helm, Links continued to grow and the work was streamlined into five main areas: 1. Church partnerships 2. Micro-Enterprise Development 3. Community Healthcare 4. Kingdom Resources 5. Creative Income-Generating Projects. Sadly Rich passed away after a battle with cancer on 25th August 2010.
At this point Andy Read stepped into the role of CEO. Previously, Andy had edited the Links magazine for 15 years. Throughout Andy's leadership Links continued to both grow 'up' in influence and development, but also 'down' as Andy put strong root systems in place for the future growth of Links.
Andy retired from his role as CEO, handing over the reins to Joe Gisbey. Joe had been involved with Links since 2004, working closely with Rich and overseeing the area of community projects and micro-enterprise development.
Joe would go on to condense the focus of Links’ vision to "connect people, confront poverty and create potential", with the main areas of work being: • Faith • Business • Healthcare • Education • Justice
A regional presence was established in Africa to better support our partners on the continent. This is led by Sam Walker and in 2021, we formalised Links Africa, based in Lilongwe the capital city of Malawi. Plans are now underway for Links Latin America and in due course, we plan to also have an Asian Office.