I have been supporting Tujatane Trust School in Zambia for many years sponsoring children at the school. The school was set up in 1996 by Vanessa Parker, wife of the owner o Tongabezi Lodge on the Zambezi river, to educate her children and the children of the staff. A teacher before her move to Africa, Vanessa quickly realised that the children from poor families in the surrounding villages had no access to schooling. The school has steadily grown in size and stature, now schooling nearly 300 underprivileged children up to age 15.
When I again visited in 2016 they had recently built an Art and Craft classroom but they had no art teacher and only very limited art supplies. Since then I have sponsored and mentored the art teacher and provided art materials to create a visual arts programme for the children. We are now running art competitions each term with certificates and prizes to motivate and inspire the children.
Textile crafts have become part of that programme involving women in the local community and we are building a studio dedicated to Textile Crafts for both children and adults in Simonga village where most of the children at the school live. The vision is to create a Centre for Zambian Arts and Crafts which will enable the local people to learn skills which, in a popular tourist area, will create livelihoods to support their families. The Textile Studio is nearly complete, thanks to generous donations from a group of supporters but we need more funds to equip the studio, supply materials and pay for the education programme. For more information go to www.tujatane.com.
£32,500 raised for Tujatane School Arts Programme and the Textile Centre
Home-Start Guildford is a fantastic charity local to me, which addresses a very real need close to home. Home-Start supports families who are finding it hard to cope and who are exhausted or overwhelmed by the challenges of family life. They may not be coping due to post-natal depression, isolation, illness or disability, multiple births, bereavement, abuse, family breakdown … or any other situation life throws at them! Home-Start’s trained parent volunteers give them the help they need to get back on track and give their child the best possible start in life.
For more information go to www.hsguildford.org.uk
£11,500 raised for Home-Start Guildford
The Lightbox Gallery is a fabulous public art gallery in Woking. The Chris Ingram collection of superb modernist art which is housed there is a wonderful resource to have in Surrey. The gallery puts on exhibitions of internationally renowned masters of art. But more than that, the gallery also runs a community programme of art workshops for children and for people struggling with mental health problems.
£2,500 raised for The Lightbox Gallery
The Art Room – which provides art therapy spaces for 5 to 16 year olds who are experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties
Challengers Guildford – dedicated to providing exciting and challenging play and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young adults
The Eve Appeal – supporting the better detection and treatment of Gynaecological cancers through awareness and research