Supermum making Supershoes
325. Sarah White
A mum who brings happiness to hundreds of children affected by cancer by creating customised ‘super’ shoes to reflect their hobbies and passions.
Sarah White, 40, from Woburn Sands in Buckinghamshire founded charity ‘Supershoes’ in 2013. Their mission is to empower children fighting cancer by creating personalised Converse trainers decorated with amazing designs chosen by the young person, which can range from family pets to film stars. Thanks to Sarah, Supershoes have donated over 400 pairs of shoes to children across the UK and raised over £25,000 to provide children with a unique pair of shoes they can wear with pride.
Sarah was inspired to launch Supershoes after learning about the incredibly brave four year old called Henry Allen who was battling a form of brain cancer. Henry, who sadly lost his battle with cancer, was the first recipient of a pair of super shoes. Together with her husband Ken, they wanted to reach out to the hundreds more children affected by cancer and asked “super artists” to volunteer their time to hand paint and design converse shoes specifically for a young person. Now over 130 volunteers spend at least 10 hours creating each pair of personalised shoes to send to children across the country who are bravely battling cancer.
Supershoes has also recently partnered with cancer charity CLIC Sargent as a referring partner to make it easier for people to access their services and complements the practical, financial and emotional support that CLIC Sargent provides. Sarah is still involved in the day to day running of Supershoes, matching children and their requests for designs with the super artists as well as managing partnerships and taking volunteers into children’s hospitals to run art workshops.
Sarah has also partnered with Office, the chain of shoe shops, who provides a discount on Converse shoes to keep costs down. Sarah’s work has now inspired a similar team of people in Australia to start “Dream Kicks”, their own version of Supershoes in Australia.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“With Super Shoes, Sarah has created an incredible way to harness the creativity of a hundred volunteer artists to give a unique gift to very sick children. The wonderful shoes she has delivered to over 400 children will have given them an invaluable boost while they are facing huge challenges. To those children Sarah truly is a Point of Light.”
“I am absolutely delighted to be receiving this award on behalf of everyone involved with Super Shoes. We have over 130 super artists who give their time and talent to make a child’s fight against cancer just a little bit easier. Cancer treatment is a long and arduous fight and some families haven’t seen their children smile for weeks. These shoes are a small, simple gift but it brings a smile and a mini-boost to these children and let’s their personality really shine through. Just like each child, these shoes are completely unique and the only ones in the whole world.”