Gambian Sainey Camara, who moved to Devizes ten years ago, has joined forces with charity Bag4Sport Foundation to help children in the area he grew up.

Mr Camara, who is called Charlie by the many people who know him in his role as a porter at The Bear Hotel, Devizes, is appealing to schools and clubs to donate unwanted uniforms, kit and equipment.

He said: “The people in the region where I grew up are still incredibly poor and many parents can’t afford to pay for school uniform. The youngsters also love to play football but they have no kit.”

Bag4Sport director Andy Trusler will join him on a trip to the Gambia in April to meet the children.

He 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.”

Mr Camara and his wife Veronica, who live in Rowde, regularly visit Gambia to help charity projects and the couple sponsor a number of children through school.

He said: “I know what it is like to be very poor and so we want to do everything we can to make life easier for these children. Most of their parents are farmers and they barely have enough money to survive.”

Mr Camara, who met his wife when he ran a beach bar in Gambia, faced a battle to get a visa to be allowed to come to England but after they married in Gambia in 2004 he was allowed to settle in Britain.

Mr Trusler would like to hear from anyone who has a dry lock-up where the clothing can be stored and from any companies that would like to pay towards transportation costs. Call the charity on (01380) 728880.