Kindhearted Darwen group goes to Gambia on charity mission
9:00pm Monday 28th January 2013 in News
A GROUP from Darwen has arrived in Gambia on a charity mission.
Bosses and coaches at Darwen Spartans youth football team and Darwen councillor Stephanie Brookfield flew out to the poverty-stricken west African country as part of Football Gambia.
They left Manchester Airport on Saturday, beating the snow.
And just 10 minutes after arriving at the village of Sitanunku, 19-year-old coaches Lewis Atkinson and Damien Mulden, club boss Mark Atkinson, under-14s manager David Buck and under-12s manager Neil Lofthouse, as well as Coun Brookfield, took part in a football match against a team from the village.
Lewis, who began training to be a coach at the club after playing for the youth teams, said he had been looking forward to the trip.
Before leaving he said: “I can’t wait to get out there.
“We went last year. It is such a fantastic place.”
The group, which comes back on February 2, will spend its time in Gambia renovating a medical centre and a school.
They will also visit schools and give out football kits and other items the deprived children don’t have.
Coun Brookfield said: “I can’t wait to get out of the snow and into the sunshine. It is 30C in full sun all day long which will make a nice change.
“I am really looking forward to being there and making a difference.”
Football Gambia director and founder Ian Stapleton said: “The Darwen guys have been great.
“They have supported the charity so well and their efforts will contribute towards the renovation of a medical centre and the building of a nursery school in Gambia.”