Friday, 15 June 2012

This week: Martha Payne

My 'this week' post is not about me this week but about the British schoolgirl Martha Payne who was banned from posting any more pictures on her blog documenting and rating her school dinners.

For those of you who have not heard the story, Never Seconds is the blog set up by nine-year old Martha who lives and attends school in Argyll, Scotland. She had been photographing and rating her school dinners each day, as well as showing some dinners that readers from around the world had sent her. Due to a newspaper headline, her local council banned her from posting any more photos on her blog and so her impressive, creative idea is forced to come to an end.

She had attracted the attention of Jamie Oliver who himself, as many of us know, has been campaining for healthier school dinners for some time. He had sent her a copy of his Jamie's Great Britain cookbook, with the inscription, 'Dear Martha, great work!!! Clever girl. Lots of love. Jamie O. XXX Keep it up!!'.

One piece of good news out of this ridiculous response from Argyll and Bute Council  is that Martha had also been raising money for Mary's Meals, a charity that helps provide meals in places of learning in the poorest parts of the world. She had eventually hoped to raise £7,000, the amount needed for Mary's Meals to build a new kitchen for their work. Thanks to the media coverage of the council's silly decision, people have been donating to her charity page and she has already exceeded the target £7,000! At time of writing this post the current amount raised is an astonishing £18,499!!

Let's hope Martha continues her blog, maybe without the photos but still engaging readers as she has been doing so wonderfully to date.
Update: the ban on her photos has now been lifted! You can read more about it here


  1. I too have been following this story with interest today after I read about it in The Guardian. I think it's brilliant that a 9 year old girl has enough get up and go to constructively protest against something she knows to be wrong - and to raise money for such a charity in the process is just amazing and inspired. If only everyone had her courage and conviction the world would be a better place - and I'm very glad that the council in question reversed their misguided ban on the photography.

    1. I agree, she really is a shining example of an inspired, courageous young person. Amazing accomplishments for a 9-year old!

    2. Keep in mind that it's the publicity that allowed her to raise so much money, so even though the council's decision was narrow-minded and silly, it turned out to really help her cause. There are a lot of great people like young Martha. May she continue to fight for worthy causes!


    3. Thanks Maryse. Sorry if I didn't make that clear but yes, obviously the publicity that led to the huge raising of money.

      You make an excellent point that there are lots of people like Martha. I wanted to mention the story to highlight an innovate young mind and I think it's a shame that the council had to ever get involved, as even though the ban was reversed, Martha will always have it at the back of her mind and it might make her more cautious in her writing on her blog going forward....


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!