2 posts tagged Martha Payne
Martha Payne is a young girl who is changing the world through her own passion and determination, as well as via the power of social media, especially Twitter, with the help of her father. Much has happened since I first interviewed Martha back in late May 2012.
Martha, now 10 years old, and her food blog, Neverseconds, have become world-renown. Neverseconds, where Martha posts photos and reviews of her school lunches, has been named by Time magazine as one of the 25 Best Blogs of 2012. Her story is so incredible that she and her father, David Payne, recently released a wonderful book to help raise money for their chosen charity, Mary’s Meals. In addition to all of this, Martha just last week won a Human Rights award, for defending free expression. More about that from Martha, below.
I personally was astounded when I watched the BBC Documentary on the Payne family’s trip to Malawi, where a school kitchen was built with the money Martha has raised. Please take a few minutes to view the clips, as words cannot describe the need there and the difference Martha is making. Martha had some profound words, though, about her Malawi visit: “I have learned that they can sing very loudly, that they don’t have what we have, and that we’ve got to appreciate what we’ve got.” Here are the links: Part 1 & Part 2
The best thing about Martha and her family, to me, is that they are very humble; very down-to earth. It’s obvious that they are not in this for the fame; you will see what I mean…
Peggy: You have been very busy since we last chatted! You have raised a great deal of money for the charity Mary’s Meals. How much have you raised so far, and how did you accomplish that? Why did you choose Mary’s Meals?
Martha: People have donated over £123,000 to my JustGiving page. A lot of donations came after the council banned me taking photographs. I chose Mary’s Meals because I have supported them for a long time because my grandpa is a volunteer. It is about school dinners. They give a school dinner to children so they don’t have to find food instead of coming to school. I understand Mary’s Meals.
Peggy: I heard you recently met Jamie Oliver. Please tell us about that experience. Was it exciting? Were you nervous?
Martha: I met Jamie on the BBC One Show. It was live. I was very nervous, not because of Jamie. I met him a few minutes before the show, but I was nervous because it was live. It was exciting seeing how it’s made but I saw myself on a screen when they played a clip from the documentary and I don’t like seeing myself or hearing myself, so it made me very nervous. (Link to Martha’s BBC One Show blog post)
Martha: Thank you. We talk about how I came up with the idea for NeverSeconds and what happened behind the blog. I didn’t know everything that happened because Mum and Dad didn’t tell me at the time. I think it is very good. Jamie Oliver has read it and loves it! Every copy gives 25 meals in Malawi through Mary’s Meals.
Martha: I was upset because I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t write the newspapers, just my blog. Without the ban we would not have raised so much money, though; but the council have never said sorry to me. Sorry is important.
Martha: People have recognised me and my picture is on the book. I don’t feel famous because my friends, and where I live, are the same.
Martha: I am more nervous in front of cameras now because it has happened a lot. I answer the same questions a lot, as well, and I forget what I say to each person. It gets confusing. It’s not all fun because I am away from home sometimes, but I did meet Rowan Atkinson, Mr Bean, on Monday because he gave me a Human Rights award. He was very very nice. (Link to Martha’s blog post about her trip to the Liberty Awards in London)
Martha: Visiting and meeting the kids in Malawi. I wanted to write and now there is a book, and I just sent Jamie Oliver a copy I signed. How cool is that!
9 year old food blogger Martha Payne has been all over the worldwide news lately due to her food blog NeverSeconds which has gone viral, with over 1.6 million pageviews so far. Martha started her blog because she was coming home from school hungry due to lousy-tasting, unhealthy school lunches. She decided to take photos of her lunch every day and post them on a blog, along with ratings of the food. It wasn’t long before she received international attention…even school lunch activist Jamie Oliver got involved. And, more importantly, her school has improved the quality of their lunches because of Martha’s efforts!
As soon as I read about Martha, naturally I wanted to interview her. I checked her blog for contact info, then after finding none went directly to Twitter. Bingo…I found her dad, Dave, who is, of course, a #prouddad, as he stated in one of his tweets! (Thank you, Dave, for tweeting me back with your email address!) Martha was kind enough to get back to me within 24 hours with her fantastic answers to my questions… :)
Peggy: Where do you live, how old are you, and what grade are you in?
Martha: I live in Lochgilphead in Argyll in Scotland. I am 9 years old and in a class called P5.
Martha: I wrote a newspaper article in school about the sinking of the Titanic and really enjoyed it so I asked Dad if I could write everyday. I came up with the idea of a blog about lunches because I was coming home hungry.
Martha: I have seen some of Jamie’s TV programmes with my family and we have some of his recipe books. Many people sent him a message about my blog. He said on TV that I should take over from him! I don’t feel famous. My friends are the same as before. It’s nice to be asked questions but I think I’d rather ask than answer.
Martha: My mum has a really important job. She is a family doctor and also runs a hospital. When she is on call she has to rush in sometimes. She is always fair and kind to everyone. One rule we have is limited electronic time so I am not allowed to watch a lot of TV or play on computers though answering this email doesn’t count! We have to mute TV ads and dad always says he’d rather give us an experience than a toy.
Martha: I’d like to be a journalist and ask questions. I have a friend in Spain who is a journalist and she is really cool.
Martha: I like to have my friends over to play. We make dens outside and I show them our lambs. Sometimes they help round the sheep up.
Martha: I love chocolate and my favourite is called Dairy Milk.
Martha: Thank you for reading my blog.