A West Bridgford estate agent has raised £6,000 for a village in Ghana, in conjunction with local charity Nottingham Forest in the Community (NFITC). Steve Parker of FHP Living and Jamie Brown of NFITC travelled to the village of Woe in Ghana in June. Steve has just totalled up the amount of money he raised for the small and impoverished township and was delighted when it tipped the £6,000 mark.
Steve raised £2,500 in order to go on the trip through fundraisers such as a charity car wash, organised by his two children Harry, 15, and Charlie, 13, a cake sale in West Bridgford, and a charity auction and raffle. He also encouraging local businesses to sponsor him, such as the Poppy and Pint pub in Lady Bay, Epperstone Developments, Hopkins Solicitors, Paragon Interiors and BMW Sytner.
Steve said: “My trip to Ghana was a very humbling experience. The people were the friendliest I have ever met and although they have very little in life, they were so happy. A huge thanks to FHP Living for their support during the trip and Jamie Brown of NFITC with the way he helped bring a little bit of Nottingham Forest to Woe.
“By the end of our trip, most of the children were wearing the replica football shirts which I had taken over as donations from people in Nottingham, many of them being Forest shirts. Jamie and I also used our own money to buy two computers for the school. Because they don’t have electricity in the school, they set the computers up through a connection from a source of electricity in the village, which was in the church.”
Steve spent a week teaching English classes, interacting with the children and learning about their culture and in turn showing them photographs and items from England.
He added: “Everyone was so welcoming. For example, it was my birthday while I was out there and the children made me birthday cards and sang happy birthday to me Ghanaian style. One of the children, Michael, bought me a bucket of fish he had caught himself as a birthday gift.”
Steve said he had such a wonderful time that he plans to return next year and will also personally help one of the children he met, called Martin.
“Martin was by my side through the whole trip and I really wanted to give him something in return, so I have decided that I will sponsor Martin through his education and can’t wait to see them all again when I return next year,” he added.
Steve managed to raise an additional £3,500 on top of the £2,500 he needed in order to go on the trip. He will donate all of this to the village of Woe and the volunteer project ‘The young shall grow.’
“I want to say a massive thank you to all the West Bridgford residents and businesses who made this trip possible through their sponsorship – it really has made a massive difference to the village,” added Steve.