Fans at St James Park and the Newcastle football team have a long distance supporter in a nursery school in the Gambia.

Southlands High School Governor and Charity fundraiser Keith Bolam has travelled to the Gambia to meet the 8th container which set sail a few weeks ago and the cargo holds many items for the Bijilo schools. On arrival, Keith was given the disappointing news that there would be a delay to the ship docking and now would not berth until Thursday. However this will allow extra time to complete the necessary paperwork. Before the schools can receive the furniture and equipment, Keith must receive approval from the Minister of Education in the Gambia who needs to check the list of items being donated. Due to the hectic diary of the Government official, Keith can often wait in the offices for up to 7 hours for authorisation.

In the meantime, Keith has visited the nursery and local clinic. The nursery children gave a very warm welcome and Keith met a long distance Newcastle fan who demonstrated his passion for the team by proudly wearing the football shirt. Prior to the container arriving, agreement has been sought for the locations of the new playground equipment and the outside classroom which will provide the vital shade for the sub- tropical climate. At the clinic, the wheels were set into motion to allow for the ambulance to be repaired and back on the road.

Although the container has two items of playground equipment, further donations would be greatly appreciated to enhance the new facility which will be installed in the next couple of weeks.




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