In 2005, straight out of Uni and not quite ready for a “sensible career” I took a job as Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic. It was just going to be for one year, I convinced myself. Little did I know that apart from a three year gap in my flying career to study my MA, work as a subtitler and back pack around South America, 15 years later I would still be flying high.
I savoured every opportunity and every new destination I visited, soaking up the sights and smells and enjoying the cuisine and interesting people I met along the way. From climbing Mount Fuji in Japan to swimming with Whale sharks in Mexico, every trip was an adventure. Before long, I was venturing off the beaten track and experiencing more of the reality of the countries I frequented. I began collecting outgrown clothes and toys and delivering them to orphanages and schools I had built rapports with. I was shocked to learn that so many kids didn’t even know when their birthday was, and this resulted in my friends and I starting up our Birthday Club, delivering a birthday gift for children who had never had the luxury of celebrating before. For my friends and family back home, it was a chance to make a small difference and see first-hand where their donation was going. Before long Spread Some Sunshine was supplying desks and books to slum schools in Kenya and beds and duvets for an orphanage in Ghana. In 2013 as a charity we decided to help that orphanage by buying a bus to help the children gain access to school. Together we shot a naked calendar and threw a huge African Party back in the UK. Still £3000 short of our target, I sent my cheeky snap to my boss, Richard Branson and was flabbergasted when the philanthropist not only replied but matched our funding. That was a pivotal point and the motivation we needed to take the next step and become a registered charity.
"Spread Some Sunshine's goal – to bring happiness to children facing adversity in the UK and overseas"
Since then, as a charity we have continued to grow and we have set up and supported many new projects and schemes which you can read about here. The support we have received has been overwhelming and has proved that although we are a small charity, we are capable of doing really big things.
Faye 'Founder of Spread Some Sunshine' x