Northampton primary school pupils get their running shoes on to support African villagers

Cross country event raises money for charity's project to supply fresh water to every home in Penyem, The Gambia

Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:34 am
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:37 am
Millway Primary School pupils and teachers after the cross country run for Penyem in The Gambia

Pupils at a Northampton primary school got their running shoes on to raise money to help a village in Africa.

Each year group at Millway Primary School ran a cross country course around its field to support Penyem in The Gambia through Northampton Trustee Fund (NTF).

The money raised from sponsorships from the run will go towards the charity's project to supply fresh water to every home in the village.

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Deputy head teacher Jessica Rice said the event was a success and they have more fundraisers planned throughout the year.

"This year has been slightly more tricky but we feel it is even more important that we continue to support the village in light of the pandemic," she said.

"This year we have been collecting 'pennies for Penyem' and later in the year we hope to have a charity event, Penalties for Penyem, with our in-house sports coach."

NTF was formed after teachers Andy and Anne Butler visited The Gambia in 2004 - Andy was a teacher at Millway when it was a Middle School and Anne had also worked there.

The charity supports the village of Penyem in three main areas: education, health and sport, while Millway is twinned the village's nursery and sponsors a girl to go to school.

Around 100 children are sponsored by charity supporters with ages from three to 25, who are university and college students.

Since 2017, NTF has fully funded the village Nursery School and paid the salaries of a full time doctor, nurse and ambulance and it's driver.

In 2018 a new initiative was launched to promote girls' football and this year, Penyem Cobblers was established, which is linked to Northampton Town Football Club's women's team.

The charity has funded many projects including a two classroom extension, a toilet block, refurbishment of a building to provide an additional classroom, the construction of a Bantaba (a large bandstand-style building used as a meeting place).

In 2021, NTF is funding a new water project to connect the whole village to a new solar-powered pumping station, with the charity already halfway towards its £5,000 target.

NTF also offers the opportunity for children in Northamptonshire to write to their counterparts in Penyem and for teachers to visit the nursery.

For more information about NTF, visit northamptontrusteefund.co.uk.