Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead
Martha is such an inspiration to anyone who wants to make a difference. She’s a true hero. — Jamie Oliver
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. — Paulo Coelho
An amazing year for Martha Payne, who who eight months ago as a nine-year old Scottish schoolgirl set up a food blog to rate her school dinners. Little did she know what the year would bring.
Although she set up her blog NeverSeconds at the end of April, her first real post was early May. That first entry saw over 35,000 visits to her blog.
A blog that was well written, thoughtful. Something for everyone to be proud of. Not though Argyll and Bute Council. Instead of highlighting her as an example of the high standard of education in Scotland, they lied, they smeared the family and bully-boys at the council tried to shut her blog down.
They picked on the wrong person. Martha stood firm. She was honoured by Liberty for standing up for free speech.
Argyll and Bute Council have still to apologise for bullying a nine-year-old schoolgirl, for lying, for smearing a decent family.
Not content with writing about her school dinners she shared her blog with others. She invited schoolchildren from around the world to write guest blogs. When they did, they only served to emphasise how disgusting were the school dinners in Scotland. She inspired others to write blogs, to campaign for better conditions in their schools. She used her bog to raise money via Mary’s Meals for schoolchildren in Malawi.
Martha was invited to Malawi to inaugurate a school kitchen for which she had raised the money. She and her family travelled to Malawi.
With her father David, Martha has co-authored a book NeverSeconds which documents her eventful year. For each copy sold, 25 meals for Malawi.
Shame on Waterstone’s, a disgrace as a bookshop chain, better described as a chain that sells books, for failing to have NeverSeconds on display, whose staff have not a clue.
Martha has featured in most of the year end reviews for 2012.
As the year draws to a close, Cargo Publishing are to be praised for their generosity in making NeverSeconds available for download at 99p. In reality this is a donation of 25 meals to Malawi with a free copy of NeverSeconds.
As the minutes drain away from the final hours of 2012, what better way to thank Martha than to see her blog pass nine million visits.
Martha is the good news story of 2012. Please tell all your friends.
Well done Martha. We are all very proud of you. Every award you received during the year was well and truly deserved.
Never let it be said one person cannot achieve a lot. This is what Martha achieved in 2012. What are you going to achieve in 2013?