Norfolk friends help African youngsters

Youngsters in The Gambia are getting a better start in life thanks to a group of people from Norfolk.

A three-classroom school has been built in the African country thanks to the efforts of husband and wife Jayne and Bernie Everett, from Horning, and four of their friends.

So far they have raised about �10,000 for the school in Farato, which opened in April, and they need your help to raise more money for extra facilities for the children.

The school has space for 150 children aged four to seven and is called Norfolk Friends Nursery School because Mrs Everett said they wanted to recognise all the help they have received from people in Norfolk.

Mr and Mrs Everett were inspired to take on the project after a holiday to The Gambia in 2002.

'We went to visit a school over there and were shocked with the lack of facilities,' Mrs Everett said.

They joined forces with Ann Nickerson and Caroline Randall, both from Horning, who focus on fundraising with Mrs Everett. Rio Slater, from Newton St Faith, and Andy Clayton, from Dereham, are also involved in the project, which is being overseen by Schools for Progress, and they have visited The Gambia with Mr Everett.

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Mrs Everett said: 'We would like to pay for a new well for drinking water and build a garden so the children can learn to grow food and cook food. We would also like to build them a toilet block.'

Most of the money so far has been raised through donations and fundraising events.

A fundraising Christmas fair is on November 6 at Broadland Community Centre in Hoveton from 10am until midday. There will be a range of stalls selling everything from Christmas cards to homemade jams to jewellery.

To donate funds to the project email

Are you involved in a charity project? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email