A Tribute to our Friend and Former Trustee, Sophie
Written by Catherine Franks.
All of us at Children’s Helpers Worldwide (CHW) were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sophie Williams on 26 May 2020.
Sophie was an amazing person with a bright and bubbly personality. She was always fun to be around and she was known for her love of the colour pink! Sophie was also incredibly kind and supportive, and always encouraging.
I met Sophie at university, where we were both studying law. Sophie served as a Trustee for two years when CHW was founded and she went on to support the charity in other ways. Our current Trustees all knew Sophie. Two of them had also studied at the same university.
Anna, one of our Trustees said, “I just remember Sophie as being so full of life and friendly, and, of course, loving pink!“
When we started CHW, we used to speak to people about our projects, as a way to try to find support for the children. Our first actual fundraising event was a bag packing fundraiser at a supermarket near our university in Aberystwyth. People gave donations in return for having their bags packed by volunteers. Without hesitation, Sophie helped out and she also arrived early to set up. That fundraiser supported the children at New Life’s centre and school in Ghana. In a recent message to me, Sophie had asked after the children there.
Looking through our old emails, I found a message Sophie had sent out quite a few years ago, sharing an appeal to support a sports programme for disadvantaged children run by one of our partner organisations in South Africa, called The Future Factory. During the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns around the world, CHW has been supporting various projects, including new food distribution programmes for both New Life and The Future Factory. Being able to support these projects – both of which Sophie had previously helped – means that the impact Sophie made is continuing. I will forever be thankful that Sophie was part of CHW.
Emma, a Trustee, shared her memories of Sophie: “I first met Sophie at Aberystwyth University when we were both students. I will always remember her uplifting presence and infectious laugh. She was committed to helping others, through her career in law but also during our time in Aber, through establishing the Tickled Pink Society, to raise awareness of breast cancer and being a founding Trustee of Children’s Helpers Worldwide. Whilst her life was cut tragically short, the impact she made during her time here will have made a lasting difference to so many. We will miss you very much Sophie.”
Quite a few years ago now, a volunteer in Wales wrote a song about CHW and arranged for schoolchildren to sing it and recorded a video. A photo of Sophie at the bag packing fundraiser in Aberystwyth appears at 1:48. You can watch the video here.
Patricia, who is also on the Board of CHW, said, “I fondly remember Sophie as a Trustee of Children’s Helpers Worldwide. She was bright, energetic and full of fun. She will be sadly missed.”
Sophie touched so many lives though her career, her friendships and the causes she supported. Sophie was a shining light in this world and she was a beautiful soul. I am truly grateful for the friendship we had. I know that Sophie is loved and missed by a lot of people.
Our thoughts are with Sophie’s family at this extremely sad time, especially her parents, Liz and John and her sister, Lucy. Sophie is in our memory and in our hearts.