|Click here to visit Gandys webpage|
Last week we got an invite which was a little different and you can tell how eager I was to attend because a) I willingly gave up 2 days of our precious hols to travel to London, b) I wore girl clothes and c) I put on make up for the third time this year (a new personal record). So what was it that caused such a reaction? The Gandys End of Summer Party.
|L-R Rob Forkan, Newton Faulkner, Paul Forkan|
If you don't know who Gandys are, let me explain. In 2004 when the Boxing Day tsunami hit Sri Lanka, Rob and Paul Forkan (and their siblings Matty and Rosie) lost both their parents. These weren't over privileged kids on a flashy Christmas break - this was a family that had spent years travelling to some of the poorest parts of the world working on humanitarian projects. You can read more of their journey in their own words here.
Determined to do something which would both honour their parents memory and ensure something positive came out of such an awful tragedy they founded Gandys as a sustainable social enterprise. They sell flip flops to generate income which in turn provides nutrition, education and support to children living in appalling conditions - they have already funded children's homes in India and Sri Lanka and their vision is to open them all around the world.
|Newton Faulkner before the power died...|
A few people have very kindly said that in some tiny way I've inspired them, well these two guys inspire me. I lost my father quite suddenly when I was just 18 but the experience had a profound effect on my life and my personal values so I absolutely understand what drives Rob and Paul. When something like that happens it permanently changes the way you see the world and switches your priorities for ever.
If you don't already own a pair then you can buy your Gandys flipflops here (just don't let me catch you wearing them atop of Helvellyn!). Rob and Paul have also written a book about their journey so far - it's not available until 27th November but you can pre-order it on Amazon here. I've not used this blog to promote anything in the past so hopefully, as this is such an amazing story, you'll forgive me just this once.