The 26th of November, 1996 – a significant date carved in my memory. At 24, I landed in England with nothing but a ticket purchased by my late father, reluctant but supportive. Unlike most in their mid-20s, I had no university degree to my name, having dropped out in Nigeria to embark on a risky journey towards an uncertain future. With a heartfelt prayer and £250 from my father, I stepped onto English soil, a place that would become my home.

Reflecting on those early days, I recall the challenges that shaped my journey. A walk of an hour to a job interview, unable to afford a bus pass; days when hunger struck as I couldn't afford lunch at work. A kind colleague once loaned me £1 to ease my hunger pangs. Though difficult at the time, these struggles became stepping stones to a brighter future.

Fast forward to today – I am 50 years old, and England is not just a geographical location; it's my home, and I proudly consider myself a great citizen of this country. During a recent dinner with my daughters, I shared snippets of those early struggles, emphasising the kindness and love that shaped my life.

My life has transformed since those challenging beginnings, thanks to the universe blessing me with kind souls who showed me compassion. Their kindness made my journey more manageable and fueled my determination to fulfil my life's purpose.

To everyone who has supported Kemi Telford by purchasing a piece, you've become an integral part of my journey towards fulfilling my life's purpose. Through your custom, Kemi Telford contributes to paying hospital bills in countries without free healthcare and sponsors the education of children in places where free schooling is a luxury.

I envision a future where those who have benefited from the kindness Kemi Telford has shown them will pay it forward when they are in a position to do so. The ripple effect of generosity spreads far beyond the initial act.

As I wake up every morning, gratitude fills my heart. I want to express my deepest thanks to each of you who has supported me on this journey. Your support not only brings joy to my heart but also enables Kemi Telford to be a beacon of kindness in the world.

This journey, from a daring leap into the unknown to a life filled with purpose and gratitude, has been shaped by the support and kindness of many. As I continue this path, I am filled with hope, knowing that the impact of Kemi Telford reaches far beyond fashion, contributing to a world where acts of kindness create a ripple effect of positive change. Stay blessed, and thank you for being part of this incredible journey.

Yvonne x

Yvonne Telford