An Educational Experience:

This annual trip to distribute aid has been described as “life-changing” by some of our students. The visit allows the participating Sixth Form students to witness first-hand the problems that a Third World country faces from an economic, educational and environmental viewpoint. We have a strong link with The Gambian High School and their Sixth Form students accompany us on the trip.

Every year our students have raised between £10000 and £20000 and taken it over there to fund projects in villages that we visit, many of which we’ve worked with for over twenty years. The students assess how effectively the money that was donated last year has been spent. They then research the current needs of each of the villages we visit and decide if and how much money should be donated to each village this year.

Over the twenty six years we have visited, our students have raised a phenomenal amount, and through collaboration with our community partners we have funded water systems, school buildings, equipment and resources, health centre buildings and equipment, health care programmes, and many other projects. Not only does it help our students broaden horizons and develop independence, it also presents an opportunity for them to effectively develop their debating and decision-making skills.

To see what we do and where your money goes please visit our Gambia Blog Page.

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December 2017 Visit

Beacon Academy Sixth Form Students Raise Record Amount of Aid for Gambia

Thanks to the phenomenal fundraising efforts of Beacon Academy Sixth Form students and the support of their families and the local community in and around Crowborough, the sixth formers had raised the highest total ever collected over the twenty six years they have visited, and during the course of their trip in December were able to allocate an astonishing £38,000 to a remarkable number of worthwhile projects

As ever, the debate on the last full day where this money was allocated was a real highlight. After two years running of nine – hour long debates, we were all expecting a bit of a reduction in length, but instead we had another record, 10 hours and 20 minutes of animated discussion.

During all of this, our students were thoughtful, articulate and listened to each other with the kind of concentration which we are always being told is impossible for teenagers. They made decisions which were wise and considered.

Amongst the things that we ended up funding were:

  • A water pump for the villagers of Wurokang for £1.5K

  • A library in our new village of Dumbuto for £1k

  • A new milling machine in Geniere for £1k

  • Part of the funding for a new health centre in Kolior for £3.5k (this will end up in a few years being one of our biggest ever projects and will rival the health centre at Kwinella which we have been supporting for more than twenty years.

  • A skills centre in the village of Nema Kuta for £1.2k

  • Finishing work on a medical centre in Jiroff for £3.3k

  • Two classrooms in Bumari for £1.8k

  • A women’s garden in Bambako for £800

  • A solar battery for the school in Kwinella for £1.2k

One interesting new feature of the trip this year was that our students got to interview Gambian students who are applying for bursaries. They were able to support two new scholarships.

Any one of the students or staff will have their own highlights from the visit. I particularly enjoyed visiting the new village of Dumbuto where we received an amazing welcome.

Read more about this trip on our news pages, or watch this short film, created by a Year 12 student, for highlights of our 2017 trip.

Beacon Celebrates 25 Trips to the Gambia

Do you recognise someone in this picture? In 2016, Beacon Academy celebrated its 25th visit to the Gambia.

Gambia 25 years 1

The picture above shows the group who went on that very first visit.

Get involved!

We here at Beacon are very proud of the efforts our students make to raise money for The Gambia. They really do make a difference in The Gambia and every contribution from members of the community and local businesses is greatly appreciated.

We would appreciate contributions such as: any time you or your staff could spare, prizes for fund-raising event, donations (cheques made payable to Beacon Community College), or anything else that you could spare that would help our students raise funds for this cause! In return we can list your organisation name on The Gambia web page on our school web site and print your logo on the T Shirts the students wear on the trip for publicity photos.

Trip organiser - Mr C Howarth -