Richard Branson sends Croydon schoolgirl charity ‘herogram’

‘Great example to us all’: the personal message sent by Sir Richard Branson to Naomi Townsend

Sir Richard Branson has written to a South Croydon schoolgirl to congratulate her on her charity fund-raising efforts, after Regina Coeli’s Naomi Townsend beat her targets 100 times over.

Inside Croydon reported earlier this year how Naomi was taking part in her school’s parents and teachers’ association’s fundraiser, which set each pupil in the school a target of raising £22 by February 22, 2022 – or £22.22 by 22/2/22.

Naomi dismissed regular fund-raising efforts, like sponsored swims or walks, as “Boring!”, and embarked on a mission that she called “Project 22”.

Using her own pocket money to buy ingredients, the schoolgirl cooked pasta meals and cupcakes for 22 people sleeping rough in Croydon town centre.

Big money: with the help of a step-up on the Regina Coeli raised bed, little Naomi Townsend hands over the large cheque from her fund-raiser to head Tessa Christoforou

Last month, Naomi presented a cheque for the total money she raised – £2,507.79 in the end – to Regina Coeli’s headteacher, Tessa Christoforou.

And in the meantime, the fund-raising efforts have caught the attention of one of Britain’s most successful businessmen.

Branson, the founder of the Virgin business empire, sent a hand-written card to the school, on which he wrote, “Dear Naomi, You are a very clever six-year-old with a very big heart.

“Thank you for being such a great example to us all.”

The card was signed “Richard (Branson)”, the name added in brackets just in case no one noticed the personalised stationery. Although as the business mogul noted himself, he’s written on his card upside down.

Naomi’s fund-raising efforts don’t end there, either.

She’s already raised more than £100 towards the purchase cost of 22 tablets for children at another Croydon school in a less-wealthy part of the borough.

Anyone wishing to support Naomi in her latest fund-raising efforts – including millionaire Sir Richard – can get in touch via

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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3 Responses to Richard Branson sends Croydon schoolgirl charity ‘herogram’

  1. Sharon R says:

    Well done Naomi

  2. moyagordon says:

    How lovely of Richard Branston to do that. Naomi is a star!

  3. andrewokola says:

    Great job Naomi! It is equally amazing that SIr Richard Branson has taken the time to recognise this special little lady in such very open and absolutely positive way.

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