9th April 2014 – the day I met Kate Granger. I can remember this because I still have her direct message on twitter telling me she ‘would love to meet up’.
I had known her for a few years before that as twitter friends and was really excited to actually see her for real! She was everything I thought she would be. She had a quiet conviction about her, she was really warm with the most beautiful smile. We tried to have lunch and she was constantly interrupted by people so desperate to meet her; despite this she was really gracious and she made us all feel like we were the special ones.
I read her books and blogs, I followed her every tweet and would check up on her pretty much every day. Routine; go on twitter, find out what is going in on the world and check up on Kate. People talk a lot about social movements these days as if you can download a toolkit and create one but social movements are organic, they grow from individuals wanting to make a difference. Kate actually did create a social movement. She started with a simple tweet. She talked about ‘what shall I call this thing’ and settled on ‘hellomynameis’ and there it was. It grew and grew and grew because it was so much more than a hashtag.
I saw her shortly after this in London where we were both speaking, she sat at the back of the presentation and I embarrassed her big time by telling everyone how wonderful she was and how everyone should follow her campaign. She was beaming that day as she had just been told she was going to be a consultant, one of her biggest dreams. As time went by we all watched from afar the joyful moments she had completing her bucket list (those cars!) and spending time with her loved ones.
My thoughts are with her husband Chris and her family and also with her friends and the people she worked with – if her impact on us her twitter friends is so huge I can only imagine how hard it must be for all of them. The Kate that I met and knew from afar would tell me to stop talking about her in this blog and start talking about what we should do to continue her legacy. That is exactly what we should all promise to do.