Call it another example of the Meghan Effect—though this time, it’s all due to charitable deeds at a Bristol charity that’s causing the commotion.
Following the Duchess of Sussex’s visit to One25, a women’s charity that helps them “break free from street sex work, addiction and other life-controlling issues” to build independent lives, its donations have risen.
“The upsurge in interest in our work as a result of Meghan’s visit has been incredible,” says Anna Smith, One25’s chief executive, in an interview with The Telegraph.
“We’ve had our first donations from overseas. There’s been a lot of interest from America, but also from other countries.”
Donations have come in from the United States, New Zealand, Jamaica, Switzerland and Canada.
Meghan made international headlines for the visit, not just because she and her husband had visited, but because she decided to leave positive messages for the workers on bananas in the kitchen. These messages were: “You are brave,” “You are loved,” “You are special,” and “You are strong.”
“One said it was just so lovely to be thought of in that way,” says Smith. “Our service users were so happy at the idea that she had visited the project.
The bananas were eventually turned into banana cakes and served to the women they serve, and pictures of the bananas are on display in their van, drop-in and other services, so more people could see them.
“The plight of our women is often misunderstood,” says Smith. “They are stigmatised and hidden from the world. The way the Duchess carried out her visit made a huge difference to the way our work is seen.”
Meghan visited One25 on an away-day of engagements with Harry. The visit was not publicised until after it was over, in order to protect the women who use the charity for support.