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