One sister from Mottingham and another from Johannesburg have been left feeling “wonderfully overwhelmed” after reuniting with each other after decades of searching.

Faye Sharp, 77, from Mottingham, realised as a teen that she had a sister, or at least a half sister, that was born seven years before her.

News Shopper: Faye SharpFaye Sharp

After decades of searching for her long lost sibling through the Salvation Army, a Sidcup based genealogist, and through television programme Long Lost Family, Faye had no luck.

Then, it wasn’t until 2021 when Faye’s cousin who lives in Australia and a young man in Newcastle named Calvin – who were not known to each other - did DNA tests through and found that they were related.

News Shopper: Janet (left), Grandson Calvin and FayeJanet (left), Grandson Calvin and Faye

Results soon found that Calvin’s grandmother was the long lost sister Faye had been searching for – called Janet Todd.

News Shopper: Janet ToddJanet Todd

After plenty of online chats and text messages, Faye has now formed an “emotional and loving” relationship with sister Janet, 85, after searching across the world for many years.

News Shopper: Janet and Faye with nieces and nephewsJanet and Faye with nieces and nephews

On March 21, Janet travelled from South Africa to London to reunite with Faye – a “miracle” anticipated for many years.

Janet says she feels “wonderfully overwhelmed” while Faye says the whole situation has been “incredibly moving”.

Faye told the News Shopper: “We were both extremely excited but nervous before our first meeting.

“I was worried about walking into hotel we were meeting at, but me and my daughter got there early.

“I soon saw a lady walking towards me, and I knew exactly who she was, she was my sister.

“We are both so alike – we had a big hug, but we were too frightened to cry because neither of us were wearing waterproof mascara.”

On Saturday, April 2, Faye arranged a family get together in London - which brought both sisters’ families together from the UK and South Africa for one “joyous” afternoon.

News Shopper: Janet and Faye at Lindy Lou's vintage tea room in CrayfordJanet and Faye at Lindy Lou's vintage tea room in Crayford

Over the past two weeks, Janet has been staying with Faye at her home in Mottingham and the sisters have been spending precious time together while chatting with distant relatives.

Faye added: “We've got lots of relatives in America and Australia who want to FaceTime, but poor Janet has lost her voice.

“Nevertheless, we’ve managed to speak with my son in America as well as our family from across the world.

“We’ve met with friends for dinner and took a trip to the theatre too – it’s all been very exciting.”

Janet, who was raised in Portsmouth but has lived in South Africa since the 1960s, says she had an “inner fear” that she may have been a disappointment to her sister, but this was soon proven wrong.

News Shopper: Janet and family from South AfricaJanet and family from South Africa

Janet told the News Shopper: “Within minutes of meeting, it was as if we'd known each other for ages and an immediate loving bond was formed.

“It feels absolutely fantastic to be back in England, I have loved every precious moment of it and kept a diary of everything so I can look back on treasured memories.

“I can only face going home because I intend to hopefully return in the Autumn".

News Shopper:

Faye explained that she found it extremely hard to believe that she had a possible sister back in 1937, and claims her mum was the most “loving person”.

She added: “When my mother was married with two small sons and her then husband was away in the army, she had what she called a ‘rendezvous’ with another man -which led to her being pregnant then giving birth to a little girl whom she named Valerie.

News Shopper: Faye and Janet's mumFaye and Janet's mum

“When her then husband was due home, she had to make the hard decision to have Valerie adopted and this was arranged by a local insurance man who knew a couple that couldn't have children.

“A few years later, my mum and her then husband divorced, and she married my father in 1944.

“Due to adoption final papers not being signed by my mum, we could never track anything, but the DNA results found that Valerie – who is now known as Janet – was my long-lost sister.”

News Shopper: Janet (middle) Faye (right) and nephew PeterJanet (middle) Faye (right) and nephew Peter


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