It has been such a difficult year for everybody, everywhere we look we see need and it is hard to know who to support this Christmas. It is also hard for all the charities to make their appeals for funds without it costing a fortune in advertising. We don’t spend anything advertising, but we have lost income through being unable to fund-raise – no summer hog roasts or Pimms parties and no winter ‘call my bluffs’. We miss seeing all our supporters and keeping them up to date. Not even the annual newsletter was possible.
We appeal for Bo of course because their needs are driven by extreme poverty and are therefore so much greater that those we face. We helped them in the summer with the rice appeal and kept many of the poorest alive during their 3 month lockdown. Draconian though it was it worked; there were no deaths country-wide in November and only two in October and new cases are down to less than 40 a month which, considering all the other diseases they face, including Malaria, is a manageable problem.
But the needs of the children in St Paul’s School are still great if we are to provide them with a proper education. We had been fitting out specialist classrooms for them in the new ‘senior secondary school’ block, and had completed fitting out the library and the domestic science lab.
We have ring-fenced funds for the computer lab awaiting a visit hopefully in about a year when we can install it and help build up staff operating competence. Now we need the funds for a science lab – chemistry, physics and biology, – probably c. £10,000’s worth, and that is our current appeal. After that we will be focussing on enterprise; helping the children into jobs and businesses when they leave school. Essential in an economy with only 12% employment.
Meanwhile we continue to provide free school lunches to the poorest which is hugely popular and is probably the only proper meal most of them get in a day.
and are starting a bicycle loan scheme for those who live furthest from school and often take over two hours to get there. We repaired and renovated the assembly hall with the help of the PTA and we continue to sponsor c. 250 of the poorest children without which they would get no secondary schooling at all. Its not us of course, its you. You are the ones who make all this possible and we are extremely grateful for your hospitality; they even more so needless to say.
We were unable to hold Carols on the Green this year. Donations would have been shared between St Paul’s and our WW Primary School. We tried to change it to a drive-in carol service in the beach car park but sadly the cost of the equipment required for this was prohibitive. However we have asked the estate if they would consider donating what they had offered to pay to put this on anyway. Maybe some of you would consider donating regardless. Anything would be greatly appreciated and can be transferred to WWPCC (charity a/c), HSBC 40-17-16 a/c no:21831461 ref Christmas appeal; or popped through the secretary’s door – 3 Elmstead Gdns, WW, PO20 8NG. Many thanks and have a wonderful Christmas and a Covid free 2021.