We recently celebrated Eve Branson’s 95th birthday. Eve has led an incredibly colourful and rich 95 years and is a firm believer that it’s never too late to make a difference.

As a young woman with a keen taste for adventure, Eve disguised herself as a boy to take glider lessons, enlisted in the Women’s Royal Navy Service to help with the war efforts, and appeared as an actress and dancer in racy West End Theatre productions.

At age 24, Eve embarked on a series of adventures as an air hostess for British South American Airways before going on to raise a family, run a property business, serve as a probation officer, write novels, travel articles and children’s books, learn French and advocate for child welfare.

After falling in love with Kasbah Tamadot, a riad in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Eve also went on to establish the Eve Branson Foundation at the age of 81 to help upskill the local community.

Eve Branson next to a traditional loom

Almost 15 years later, the foundation is addressing the skills gap in the area and breaking the cycle of poverty through it’s three skills-training centres. The organisation also works with a set of partners to support community initiatives tackling healthcare, wellbeing, environmental issues and access to education.

Always looking ahead, Eve has also encouraged the creation of wooden items at the craft centres that have been designed to replace single-use plastics. This includes sustainable drinks stirrers which are now been sold throughout the Morocco hospitality sector.

Virgin Unite, Eve Branson Foundation, craft houses 2018

Thanks to Eve understanding that it’s never too late to make a difference, the foundation has made an incredible impact since it all began in 2005. Some of the achievements include:

  • The establishment of three craft centres.
  • Thousands of hours dedicated to professional training in artisanal skills.
  • The training of over 75 young women in artisanal crafts.
  • Providing eight young men with woodworking skills training to earn a living.
  • The sale of thousands of handmade, artisan items from the local community.
  • The creation of employment opportunities for local men and women.
  • The construction of three water wells.
  • Free dental care to over 3,000 children and the distribution of 50,000 toothbrushing kits in the region. 
  • Provision of a new primary school playground facility and football pitch for the community. 
  • Free English lessons for 82 girls in secondary education.
Virgin Unite, Eve Branson Foundation, woodwork centre, give a flying duck

Needless to say, Eve took on an enormous challenge for someone at the age of 81, but she grasped it with both hands and her firm belief that it’s never too late to make an impact.

You can learn more about the Eve Branson Foundation and how you can support their work right here.