You don’t need millions to change the world. But it does help!

Sir John Timpson has opened up about how he and his wife Alex have always been ‘fixers’. Willing to give anyone and everyone a leg up when they were down. Having 5 children, 2 of which were adopted, and an incredulous 90 (yes, NINETY!) foster children over the years, Sir John has well and truly earned his title.

A humble man, Timpson’s is quite simply a down scale business that offers Key Cutting and Cobbling. But, it is a huge business that offers a service you can’t simply get online, and it has a conscience. Employing ex offenders, offering free dry cleaning to the unemployed for interviews and they are also branching out into barbering, which will create a huge amount of jobs.

At 74, you’d think that with all of his millions, he’d take a back seat and enjoy the harvest of the seeds he has sewn. Nope! Until the day he dies, he’ll be putting the world to rights, and doing all he can to help others when they need it most.

That must sound like a strange opening few paragraphs, given the title, but, you don’t need to have extreme wealth to make a difference to someone’s world. It doesn’t matter how big or small, grand or humble, a small act of kindness can go a long way.

Many kids in the foster system are damaged. Physically and/or mentally. Scarred in such a way that something as simple as a wave could put the fear of Christ into them for fear they’re going to be beaten. Painfully aware that they’re being irrational, but their self preservation instinct still kicks in, and the only way that this can be overcome, is through patience, unconditional love and understanding.

I read an article not long ago about a seriously abused boy (who is now a successful young man), and how his foster parents were called in the dead of night, when everyone was asleep by social services, begging them to take him in. They didn’t grumble, though they were hardly impressed at being woken up at midnight, they simply said ‘give us an hour’, dragged themselves into the kitchen and made him a buffet of sandwiches, sausage rolls and crisps.

When he was given his £5 pocket money for the weekend, the boy was overwhelmed, he’d never seen money in note form, let alone had any for himself. But he didn’t buy sweets or toys, or magazines. He went into the garden centre, and bought his foster parents a potted plant as a way of thanks. A potted plant that is still thriving now.

I’ve met many foster parents, and I’m adopted, so it’s a subject close to my heart, and my parents were never ‘rich’, but what they lacked in funds in my early years, they made up for in an abundance of time, love and patience.

You seriously don’t need to have the world on a plate to make a difference. Just a little patience and time will suffice.


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