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They're Off - Huge Challenge to Raise Money for Kids Near and Far

Published: 11th February 2020 09:36

Three Neston residents and businessmen are off on a challenge to raise money for young people both in Neston and in a small town in West Africa.

They're Off - Huge Challenge to Raise Money for Kids Near and FarNic Phipps, Andrew Smith and Dave Bladen have left for Sierra Leone at the start of their challenge which will raise money for children there and in Neston.

Their efforts will go towards the third world charity OAKS, which operates a school in Sierra Leone, and to Neston Nomads football club.  Some of the money raised will go towards building the first proper football pitch for the school and providing kits for the children in Bo, whilst a share will also support Neston Nomads' fundraising for a 3G pitch.

We say they're doing the challenge but really it's Andrew Smith of Andrew's Estates here in Neston. He is cycling and running approximately 280 kilometres from the capital city Freetown to the OAKS schools in Bo.

Nic Phipps (local builder and Trustee to OAKS) is acting as guide and coordinator, whilst Neston's own video-photographer, Dave Bladen is filming and capturing the trials and tribulations of the journey.

Checking on conditions this week confirms sub-Saharan temperatures will be 38 to 41 degrees by day and 27 to 30 by night - no air conditioning on this journey, even at night - and they will be roughing it in primitive accommodation, yet to be seen but organised by a local to the area.

The beneficiaries of the event will be Neston Nomads, (an organisation Andrew appreciated when he was growing up) and the OAKS Schools in Sierra Leone which all three have visited before and are committed to supporting in the schools' ground breaking transparent progress - 100% of donations have been utilised to build the schools that now accomodate 450 local children.

Huge challenge to raise money for kids near and farAndrew previously visited the OAKS school in 2014 and has been a passionate supporter of the project ever since.

Many local companies are getting behind Andrew and committing £1 per kilometre to his challenge, as indeed is Nic Phipps, through his new house build company, but any additional donations would be very much appreciated.

Nic says: "Over the last six years, Andrew and his team have sold 19 houses for me in Bromborough, Willaston and the Neston/Ness area and have always been there to get sales over the line. And it's no surprise he's stepping up to the plate for this local and international deserving charity, as I know he has donated to many other local causes, including a defibrillator in Neston, the annual Liverpool to Chester cycle ride through Neston and to Neston Village Fair, amongst others."

Huge challenge to raise funds for kids near and farThe challenge route, from Freetown to Bo in Sierra Leone.

Follow the journey from early doors Thursday morning when they set out at 6am each day for three days, to beat the rising temperatures.

Internet access permitting delayed reports will be sent back. Any financial help and support to this challenge can go a long way for two very different but worthy causes.

Visit the fundraising page for donations and to follow progress, here.

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