Barrett Steel and The Gambia Education Project.

20 September 2018

Barrett's depot A H Allen Steel Services recently supported one of their customers on their African aid mission.
The Gambia Education Project was established in 2009 By John and Mary Reynolds, aiming to provide support for the Lucy Memorial Nursery School in Gambia, through sponsoring of children, development of the school, and providing equipment and transport. Situated in a poor area, unfortunately many children are otherwise unable to afford to attend school.
When John unfortunately passed away in 2017, Dave and Mandy Crumbie, who had been supporters of the charity and become friendly with John and Mary, took the helm. Dave is managing director of a specialist Structural Steel company in Croft in Leicestershire, one of Barrett Steel’s depots (A H Allen Steel Services - Northampton’s) customers, so we were only too happy to help when Dave requested sponsorship for a transportation project.

John’s own 1993 Mercedes was taken out to Gambia, and donated to the school’s headmaster, which has made an enormous difference to the day to day running of the school. It’s also meant that a piece of John remains with the school he worked so hard to help. A similar age Mitsubishi Shogun was also purchased for the community, providing employment as a taxi service, but also ensuring that children were able to get to school. Sponsorship allowed for transportation of the vehicles, which despite a hijack incident, arrived safely and in working order.

Following the successful campaign for sponsorship support, the charity was also able to afford to install solar panels on the roof of the school building. Normally the area is restricted heavily with the amount of power they are able to use, sometimes only 2-3 hours a day. The introduction of solar panels improves their lives immensely and allows improved connectivity for the students.

There are currently 102 sponsors, with a waiting list of people wishing to sponsor. 161 children are sponsored in total of these 28 attend private schools, with a further 6 children from the current term having been selected to go to private school. Sponsorship continues once the children move up to their next school, and sponsored children are now spread across around 19 schools in The Gambia.

Mandy Crumbie visits the school twice a year, once in October, to deliver and collect Christmas cards & school reports for sponsors, and once in May. Dave & Mandy go back out every January visiting the school & helping where they can. Dave and Mandy use all their own funds to support these visits, with every penny raised by the charity going directly to support the school and its students. Sponsoring a child and providing them with an education and therefore a promising future costs as little as £60 per year. Amy O’Farrell, of A H Allen Steel Services, a depot of Barrett Steel, also sponsors a child.

Others who are interested can visit the charity Facebook page at :

Barrett Steel and The Gambia Education Project.

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