A tragic moment in Nahla Summers life propelled her into a world of adventure. Not only is she an award winner and the driving force behind ‘A culture of Kindness’ and ’44 Rays of Sunshine’ (Winning Most Inspirational Book 2017). She is also a Points of Light award winner – awarded by the Prime Minister, an author, a public speaker, and a world record-breaker.
Nahla cycled 3000 miles across America, having not owned a bike for 20 years. She walked 500 miles from South to North England, relying on the kindness of strangers and broke a World Record by travelling 5007 miles on a stand-up bike through every city in the UK whilst creating the biggest Strava Art across England with the word kindness.
DS: Congratulations on the publication of your book ‘The Accidental Adventurer’. You have achieved so much; tell us what propelled you into being an adventurer?
Nahla: “I had moved from my hometown in Dorset, and I was living with my partner Paul, in a beautiful cottage, across from the beach, in Weston-Super-Mare. We both had busy corporate jobs but were happy and ready for the next stage of our lives together.
Paul participated in a charity cycle ride. Whilst he was on the ride, he phoned saying he was finding it difficult to breathe. I asked for his location so I could go and pick him up, there was no answer. Paul dropped the phone and had a heart attack – he tragically died.”
In an instant, Nahla’s life had changed. She recalled the moment she walked back into the house by herself and saw Paul’s slippers by the front door, ready for him to put on his return. The realisation that this would never happen hit her hard. After the funeral, the grieving process spiralled out of control. Nahla was not eating or sleeping; she wouldn’t leave the house or go outside.”
But one day, she took the brave step of opening the front door and walking across the road to the beach. It was there as the sun was setting, she saw a man on a horse. They looked like they were at one with each other, dancing in the sand in a figure of eight motion. She continued to watch the show, mesmerised by their performance. A man walking his dog approached her. He asked her if it was her horse, she told him it wasn’t. Nahla knew she looked a mess; she had lost weight, and her clothes no longer fit, but the man continued to talk with her and shared some incredible stories about how he worked with horses in America and their healing power. His moment of kindness and not judgement left Nahla feeling lighter. She could finally see a way out of the darkness – it was the catalyst for her to start living again. Six months later, she was climbing Kilimanjaro.
Nahla set up the Sunshine People because of the kindness she received throughout her grieving process.
The kindness movement provides education, tools, and inspiration where people share kindness and are motivated to take action to inspire society. They provide workshops, a complete assembly program in schools, and corporate organisational change.
Nahla does a challenge each year and asks people to show support by carrying out an act of kindness for a stranger. Nahla’s last challenge, in 2020, saw her achieve a World Record; by travelling 5007 miles on an ElliptiGO bike and hopes through her yearly challenges to raise 1 million acts of kindness.