Champion gift from pupils for overseas footballers
Football-mad youngsters from The Gambia are looking just champion after kind-hearted players from a Bridgnorth team donated their kit.
AFC Bridgnorth Spartans gave kits to children from Mandinari Lower Basic School in the western region of the country. Pupils from Bridgnorth's Castlefields Primary School also donated stationery, and the school received Abooku Reading Scheme resources, including reading books to help them practice their phonic sounds at home.
Castlefields and other West Midlands schools helped pay for the scheme to the tune of £5,474 through their own fundraising.
The Bridgnorth school's headteacher Jackie Hampson took the kit over and joined other teachers from the West Midlands taking part in the initiative.
They visited schools and joined in a variety of activities including cooking Benachin, a traditional Gambian rice dish, with children at Mandinari, taking a group of children from two schools to visit the National Assembly Rooms, helping out at a sports day, and playing a game of football.
Mrs Hampson said: "It was brilliant. It was a very fruitful and eventful trip. The reading scheme was all set up and we delivered it to five or six classes. One of the issues they have is that they don't have materials to practice at home, so that's what we gave them.
"We did some great work in the classes and we had a game of football with them. They are very appreciative of the football kit. They had great big beaming smiles and they were thanking us a lot.
"We've done an assembly on the whole trip, and with my year one children we've cooked the same Benachin rice dish that they make in Gambia. I sent pictures to the teacher in Gambia and they thought it looked good.
"We've got a lot of children who play for the Spartans and they're really pleased to see them in their kits."
Kelly Woodcock, fundraising officer AFC Bridgnorth Spartans, said: "The club were delighted to hear that the kit has already been put to good use. Football unites everyone and wearing a kit is an important tool to generate a sense of belonging. It's wonderful that this sense of unity can be shared."