Neighbourhood Pioneer Lewis Atkinson first sent out 100KG of football kits and tracksuits from Darwen Spartans JFC over to Gambia through Football Gambia to under privileged children. He then attended Stand Out in Darwen Turning Ideas into Action Event to apply for funding to pay for his flight to Gambia to carry on his volunteering over there. Lewis told the other pioneer projects about their idea and what it would do for the children over in Gambia and the community fundraising projects that would take place in our town, Lewis was successful in the vote and received £1,000. Lewis recruited more volunteers to support him to put on more fundraising events in the town and managed to secure £250 from Farley’s Solicitors. The lads then put some collection buckets into the local shops in Blackburn and Darwen to raise more money for their trip and £150-£175 was raised from the bucket collections. They realised that Darwen Gala would be a brilliant place to hold their next fundraising event and decided on a leg wax. Following sponsorship from family and friends they managed to raise £300. At this point they had raised £1725. They then thought about doing a football tournament and decided to bring in local football teams to take part. The tournament was held at DACA and lasted all day with all teams enjoying the day. A tuck shop for food and drinks were sold. £350-£400 was raised from the tournament and from the tuck shop so this put us on £2125 altogether. Also one of the parents did a darts marathon which lasted 12 hours that raised £150-£200, and with donations from parents that raised £30, a full day fancy dress which raised £50 and a coaching session at St. Cuthberts which raised £30 their total was £2435. They also had a final bucket collection from the shops which finally raised £65. They also raised an extra £400 from Darwen council for the injections needed for Gambia, these included yellow fever, hepatitis A+B, typhoid and meningococcal.
As you can see the lads were very committed to fundraising for their trip to Gambia and have now been over and helped build a well, rebuild homes and teach football.