Chippenham pupil goes the extra mile

This Is Wiltshire: Back row, Jay, teacher Julie Gingell and Alex. Standing beside the T-shirt statue is Amelia on the left and Willow. In the front row are Lucy, Emily and Lily                              (VS352) By Vicky Scipio Back row, Jay, teacher Julie Gingell and Alex. Standing beside the T-shirt statue is Amelia on the left and Willow. In the front row are Lucy, Emily and Lily (VS352) By Vicky Scipio

Schoolgirl Amelia Hoyle raised more than £300 to help improve a Gambian school linked to her Chippenham primary school.

The eight-year-old, who goes to Queen’s Crescent, was so dismayed by her West African peers’ rundown equipment, she took it upon herself to walk 17 miles on sponsored walks with her mum to raise money for 17 sheets of plywood.

In the end she raised enough to mend 100 desks and benches, to allow the pupils of Jamisa School to learn more comfortably.

The money was delivered last month by a group of eight teaching staff from Queen’s Crescent and two student teachers from Bath Spa University, who self-funded their trip.

Donations were also made by Chippenham Rotarians and the town’s Wickes store.

The Queen’s Crescent team worked alongside skilled craftsmen from The Gambia to give one of the classroom blocks a makeover, repainting blackboards and filling rough concrete floors. They also painted a strip of blackboard paint onto the desks so children without pencil and paper could practise writing with chalk.

Nuha Darboe, senior teacher and link co-ordinator at Jamisa School, sent an email saying: “You shall ever be remembered, by the students, teachers, parents and the regional education director Mr Suwarreh, for the magnificent contributions rendered to the school.”

Some of Jamisa’s teachers will visit Queen’s Crescent next month.

Julie Gingell, international subject leader at Queen’s Crescent, said: “This was the most ambitious visit yet. The whole school is buzzing from the impact of the visit.”

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