Gambian Sainey Camara this week left his adopted home town of Devizes laden down with goods for children in the African village where he grew up.

Mr Camara, who works at The Bear Hotel, Devizes, and is known to all the regulars as Charlie, has joined forces with charity Bag4Sport to collect unwanted sports kit and stationery goods to help poor children in Gambia.

Bag4Sport director Andy Trusler will join Mr Camara in Gambia in two weeks time and take more kit with him.

Yesterday, on the eve of his flight to his home country, Mr Camara said: “I am so grateful to everyone in Devizes and surrounding towns and villages who have been so generous.

“Devizes is like a second home to me now and everyone has rallied around to make this possible.

“It will make a huge difference to the children. I have spoken to one of the school head teachers and he is so happy about the donations.”

The Bear Hotel has used money raised from an African evening in the Cellar Bar to buy some stationry goods and David Court who owns the Stationery Cupboard in Market Place, Devizes has donated more.

Mr Court said: “I have known Charlie for a long time so we wanted to do something to support his project in Gambia.”

Mr Trusler said: “Money raised by our charity stays in Britain to help grass roots sport and up-and-coming athletes.

“But when I heard from Charlie about the needs of these youngsters I knew it was something we could help with and local schools and clubs would want to be involved with.

“We also hope local schools might want to be linked with schools in Gambia and to stay in touch through letters and photographs.

“I am personally paying for my own trip to Gambia so no money will be used from the charity to fund it.”

Devizes Cricket Club is among the groups that has given sports clothing and equipment.