7:40pm Tuesday 11th October 2011
By Rhianne Pope
JANIE Hampton isn’t just a mum to her own children, she’s mother to thousands of people desperately in need of healthcare.
And now the supergran has been shortlisted as Tesco Mum of the Year after raising more than £1m towards a mobile clinic in Malawi.
The 59-year-old founded the Chauncy Maples charity in 2009 to renovate Africa’s oldest motor ship and bring care to remote villages for the first time.
She was nominated by her eldest of four children, Daisy Binnie, 38, who called her mum “amazing”.
She said: “Sometimes I think Mum should stop for a moment, look at what she’s actually doing and go ‘wow’.
“She puts everything into it and doesn’t get paid a penny.
“She is not just mothering her own children and grandchildren, she is safeguarding the health of thousands and millions of children in Africa.”
Mrs Hampton, from Temple Cowley, said: “I wouldn’t dream of saying I was a good mum, but I do have four extremely nice children.
“One of the main secrets is having a very good dad to help you.
“It should be called the Mum and Dad of the Year Awards because in my case we were always co-parents.”
She said her husband Charlie thought the nomination was “amazing”.
Mrs Hampton, who is also the author of 15 books, started the charity after a trip to Malawi two years ago and seeing the lack of healthcare.
Malawi is one of the ten poorest nations in the world and the average life expectancy is just 50.
She said: “I heard that people wanted this boat renovated and so I started the charity. It had an amazing Oxford connection, too.”
Chauncy Maples, below, was an Oxford clergyman who sailed to Africa and set up clinics and schools.
The boat was named in his honour when it was originally launched in 1901.
She said: “So when renovated, the boat will travel to remote villages which have no roads or clinics.”
The on-board nursing team will provide life-saving treatment for diseases including malaria and tuberculosis as well as antenatal, dental and family planning services.
Since 2009 she has raised more than £1m from businesses, people in Oxford and with a host of events. Another £1m is needed before the boat can be operational.
She has always juggled working as an author and journalist with raising Daisy, Orlando, Pamela and Joe.
She now enjoys looking after grandchildren Bill, four, and two-year-olds Matilda, Freya and Delilah She said: “I love being a granny. The nice thing is you have more one-to-one time with them because you’re not worried about homework and washing.
“The charity wasn’t supposed to take up too much of my time, but it’s turned out that way.
“I just keep thinking ‘I’ve started now’ so I may as well finish.”
She added: “Somebody asked me what would happen if it didn’t work. I just said, ‘well, we’ll carry on until it does’.”
Janie is one of 40 people shortlisted for the awards out of thousands of nominees.
Eight winners will be chosen by a panel including choreographer Arlene Phillips and athlete Denise Lewis.
The winners will be invited to a celebrity-spangled red carpet event in 2012.
To find out more about the charity, visit chauncymaples.org
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