Introducing Gill Drakeford-Lewis - Community Outreach Coordinator
Please join us in welcoming the newest member of HOPE Head Office: Gill Drakeford-Lewis. Gill comes to us a with a wealth of experience as our new Community Outreach Coordinator. Here’s a little about Gill . . .
I was born in England, but lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland for all of my school years. We moved there 3 months before the conflicts in Northern Ireland started which made life very interesting growing up.
I studied Business Studies at Portsmouth University, and came out with a BA in Business Studies. I’ve (allegedly) had several ‘big’ jobs in business, such as managing a brewery and an airport, to name a couple. I became increasingly frustrated, as I wanted to put effort into something I felt was worthwhile. A major accident and subsequent spinal injury gave me some much-needed perspective and helped me to focus on what was truly important to me.
My husband, Chris, and I gave up the rat race, and spent several years backpacking, and working at various orphanages and at an HIV charity in Thailand. This is the best thing we ever did. It gave our lives so much purpose. To make a difference to one life makes everything worthwhile.
Our lives are now busy as we have two children, Ella, aged 8, and Sam, aged 6. They are wonderful children (I’m not sure how that happened!).
After emigrating to Canada 12 years ago, a group of friends and I began meeting once a month. We decided to give $20 each to a charity of the host’s choice. When it came to my turn, I wanted to do something bigger, so I suggested that we fundraise to build an orphanage instead. I started looking for an organisation to do this through, and found out there was a non-profit based in Kelowna. I called at the HOPE office and instantly loved everything about the people and the organisation. We helped to fund an orphanage in Cambodia and also sponsored one of the girls at the orphanage. The girl we sponsored is now studying Social Work in Cambodia.
I am passionate about making a difference, helping vulnerable children, and bringing people together to join in the joy of changing lives.
I love the integrity, the people, and the work that HOPE does. I told all my friends through the years that my dream job would be working at Hope For The Nations. My dream came true!