Through Someone Else’s Eyes – our next project is launched!

glasses and book

Following on from Someone Else’s Shoes we have now launched our next project – called Through Someone Else’s Eyes.

It involves collecting second  hand glasses and then taking these to The Gambia, where they will give given to the National Eye Health Programme.

To find out more please visit our new blog called Through Someone Else’s Eyes:




Thank you benenden

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Thank you to benenden hospital and benenden health for making my trip to the village of Bonsa, in The Gambia, possible.

By way of a travelling fellowship benenden paid for both myself and benenden hosptial nurse Charlotte Barnett to go on the week long trip. They gave us the time off and donated many items.

The benenden health teddy bears, of which we had hundreds, went down well in the health clinic. They were given to young patients to distract from the fact they were about to be prodded and poked, or given a nasty tasting medicine.

They also kept children amused while other family members were being treated.

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Football shirts donated by benenden health and the York City Football Club were also popular:

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As were the footballs, also donated by benenden health and York City:

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Each year benenden hospital gives redundant or old equipment to developing countries. At the end of last year and the beginning of this year it gave this equipment to the charity we were working with, BACE. Much of it travelled to The Gambia in a shipping container in November 2013. This included hospital beds, hospital screens (which were used during our trip as temporary doors!) surgical packs, catheters, hand saniters, bins, chairs and much more.

Here is one of the beds which was used when the clinic opened for a trial run:

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Thank you benenden for all of your support!


Walking in someone else’s shoes


These women walk for many miles carrying water on their heads.

They do many journeys from the village well to their vegetable plots to water their plants, often wearing only worn out flip flops on their feet. Some of the children and teenagers in the impoverished village of Bonsa, in The Gambia, have no shoes at all.

The UK charity BACE gave volunteers a “wish list” before they set off for Bonsa, of items which would be useful in the village. Shoes were one of the items on the list. Shoes were donated by individuals in London, Kent and Sussex. Some were sent to The Gambia in a BACE shipping container, back in November last year. Others were squeezed into suitcases and hand luggage carried by BACE volunteers who arrived in The Gambia last Monday.


We gave some shoes to the ladies who carry the water. We gave others to children and teenage girls who had no shoes at all.

This is 11 year old Tida proudly showing off the shoes we gave her.


Also some shoes were given to visitors to BACE’s new health clinic, to protect their feet from stones, rubble, sand and dirt and to help keep their feet clean if they’d had infections treated and dressed.

We had expected recipients to pick out practical, comfortable and hard wearing shoes, from the boxes we had, but we were surprised to find many chose the most sparkly, shiny and decorated shoes. I later found out that many were probably after a smart pair of shoes to wear to church.