A large group of SALVE staff standing together

A message of gratitude from Nicola

Change, gratitude and learning

I write this message having just come back from Uganda, where I spent the last two months. It was a great opportunity to work closely with our inspiring team in Uganda and to support them however I could through the rollercoaster of operating such an important service for children and families at their time of greatest need.

Some of the most challenging moments, like when we had to help a group of street connected children who had been captured and kept without food or water for 3 days, so they had to drink from the toilet to survive, will never leave me. Despite our Halfway Homes already being full to capacity, our incredible team found ways to create extra space so that we could get these children released into our care. Difficult situations like this show the huge importance of the work we are doing and what an amazing team we have who pull together to make sure the children have people they can trust and rely on.


It was on this trip where I had the chance to introduce everyone to the incredible Lucas Mee, who I am delighted to say is taking over my role as CEO. He comes to S.A.L.V.E. with a wealth of experience of working with street connected children across the world. Most importantly, he comes with passion for the cause, new ideas and determination to see S.A.L.V.E. be able to help more people. I look forward to supporting him and the team however I can, to ensure that S.A.L.V.E. continues to progress towards our vision of “No Street Called Home”.

Seeing the extraordinary resilience of the young people we support, their ability to cope with their traumatic pasts and to still be full of hope for their futures has been both humbling and inspiring. Our work shows that it is possible for children to successfully leave the streets with the right support, so our vision is possible. It only needs more people to join hands with us to make it a reality.

I will initially become an ambassador, fundraiser, donor and advisor for the charity, and then a little later, after having time to recharge my batteries, I will also join the board of trustees to continue volunteering my time, skills and knowledge however is most helpful. My commitment to serving S.A.L.V.E. is as strong as ever and will always be.


I want to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude and thanks for all the incredible support I have been shown since co-founding S.A.L.V.E. and then as I took up the role of CEO for the charity. Over the years I have been so fortunate to get the opportunity to know and collaborate with countless wonderful people all over the world.

This role for me has been a great privilege, but I could not have done any of it without the S.A.L.V.E. team and supporters: I have been lucky to learn, grow and work beside you all. It is wonderful to see what we have been able to achieve together, despite the changing climate, pandemics and the cost of living crisis. I am so grateful for the friendship, kindness and spirit of collaboration that has been shown to me and that S.A.L.V.E. is rooted in.

Being a CEO for a small charity is not a job in a normal sense, as it is your passion and ends up becoming a big part of who you are as a person. It’s a lot of sleepless nights and trying to find creative solutions to seemingly impossible situations. It teaches you to be adaptable, patient, persistent and to never give up. It also gives you an incredible opportunity to listen to and work together with the children and families you are there to serve, to change their lives for the better.


One of the multitude of things I have learnt in running S.A.L.V.E. is that some of the most generous people are those that don’t have a lot themselves, they just have a big heart for helping others. This is true for many of our volunteers, donors, supporters, staff and most importantly the people that we strive so hard to help. One example of this that really touched me, is of a young woman in the UK who was formerly street connected herself and gave us half of her first ever pay from her job as an actress to ensure other young people could be able to get the help they need to turn their lives around.

I have also learnt how important peer support by others with lived experience is. We now try to include this into our services wherever possible. One great example of this is that one of the young people who we helped to leave the streets is now a peer mentor in our Drug Rehab programme, and the children really value his input as they know he has been through similar struggles to what they are going through.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I therefore believe that it will take a global community to ensure that no child ever has to live or work on the streets. We are fortunate to have amazing board members in both the UK and Uganda, a very committed and hard working team of staff and volunteers, and the most incredible global family of supporters walking beside us.

However, we still have a lot of important work to do and so if you have been meaning to get in touch with us about a collaboration, partnership or idea that you think could help, please do. We would always love to hear from you.

A landscape shot of children and SALVE staff members holding hands in a large circle

Support our raffle

One way I hope that you will show your support is by entering our 2024 fundraising raffle with many fabulous prizes – including a one week break in Eastbourne for up to 6 people! All funds raised will be used to help children living on the streets of Jinja, Uganda leave the streets, return home to their families, and re-join education.

Tickets are just £5 and you can buy as many as you want to maximise your chances of winning. The more tickets we sell, the more funds we raise and therefore the more children we can help.

 Please share far and wide!

S.A.L.V.E. Get Together

At 7:30pm (UK time) on Tuesday 16th April 2024, this online event is a chance for you meet our new CEO, Lucas Mee, see what S.A.L.V.E. has achieved with your help and learn what our plans are for the future.

Our Get Together agenda includes:

👉 A welcome from Nicola Sansom, our outgoing CEO as she changes roles

👉 Introduction to Lucas Mee, our new CEO

👉 Discussion of the results of our head counting research with our Ugandan Director Alfred Ochaya

👉 Hearing from beneficiaries of S.A.L.V.E.: what difference have we made?

👉 Raffle prize draw

Please stand in solidarity with children who are living and working on the streets and join our session. To register your wish to attend, please visit our website.

Everyone is welcome!

S.A.L.V.E. Ceili

Tickets are now available for our fun-filled ceili! www.tinyurl.com/ManchesterCeili

Taking place on Friday 19th April at St Kentigerns Irish Club in Fallowfield, Manchester, tickets are just £10 for adults and £5 for children.

No previous dancing experience is required and all funds on the night will support S.A.L.V.E. International and The Pearl Trust, two charities doing great work in Uganda.

I hope to see you there!

Webale nyo

I would like to finish by once again appreciating and thanking everyone who has supported both myself and S.A.L.V.E. to be able to be a lifeline for so many children and families over the last 16 years. I look forward to continuing to support S.A.L.V.E.’s vital work together and seeing what we can achieve next.

With lots of love and thanks,


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