Melissa Day is a Suffolk business owner with a philanthropic mission; to help encourage safety, welcome, belonging and inclusivity.
In November 2008, Melissa set about making Ipswich a designated "Town of Sanctuary" for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, as part of the national movement, "City of Sanctuary". The vision was for Ipswich to be a welcoming and inclusive place to live for those seeking sanctuary. After actively creating partnerships with key community stakeholders to work towards making Ipswich a welcoming, safe and inclusive town of sanctuary and campaigning for 4 years, cross-party support was won in October 2012, where Ipswich Borough Council passed a resolution of support towards Ipswich becoming a Town of Sanctuary. This was the first area in the East of England to have gained such support. Today, there are over 100 City of Sanctuary groups.
In 2015, Melissa looked to support a project called Tea Leaf Vision in Maskeliya, Sri Lanka, run via charity Tea Leaf Trust. She wanted to help find a way for a safe and affordable means for Tea Leaf Vision students to attend their English classes. Her fundraising efforts combined with a grant from Rotary International, raised 58K. This covered the costs of a brand new mobile library, maintenance of the bus and the training for and salary of the bus driver and the salary of 3 members of teaching staff for 1 year. The mobile library not only provides the original goal set out but also education for the wider community on the tea plantations.
In 2018, Melissa has two projects, both relating to rape; in the UK and in Sri Lanka's tea plantations. Her UK initiative, is to help provide helpful information to survivors, via her educational films and also campaign in favour of wider access to legal advice in her home county of Suffolk for survivors.
Melissa is developing a programme to be delivered in Tea Leaf Vision's second school in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. This is a six week programme called "Respect for Women & Consent".