Seeking support for Sierra Leone

On this page you can read an update on the efforts we have taken in support of Ian and Heather and the Magnificent Seven, and  find out how you can help with the next steps. To see the introduction, click here. If you are able to push any of these things forward, then please get in touch.

Solar panels for Ian and Heather

A pair of solar panels and the associated batteries would boost Ian and Heather’s access to electrical power to 24 hours a day. The cost is £700. Thanks to everyone who came to our fundraising event on 8th June 2018 (which raised £431.50) and to Foxhill church who added £240 towards the panels. Next steps:

  • Seek the final donation of £28.50.

Tools for the Magnificent Seven

This group of young men and women lived in a care home until recently, where they learnt tailoring or shoe-making. They were generously provided with rent when they moved out, but now need to establish individual businesses to earn money for food and clothes, as well as saving up for when the rent is due. Each one has set out their reasons for seeking help and specified the tools they need to launch their business.

In response, we have collected three hand-crank sewing machines, one of which Steve and Mike collected from London. Bridget has kindly offered a fourth, which Margaret and Mark will collect. We have also applied to Workaid for help and if they offer anything, Chris will pick the tools up from the warehouse in Chesham. If Workaid are unable to help, both Roger and Tools with a Mission in Ipswich have offered to donate tools.

Rob from the Derby Box Company has kindly offered to donate a shipping case. Meanwhile, Rick is seeking grinding wheels and Alan is investigating whether there are any business people or charities associated with the shoe industry that might help. Clumber Hall have offered us 80 electric sewing machines (!) so we are working out how to respond to their generosity.

Next steps:

  • Mike is investigating banking services in Sierra Leone.
  • We have obtained a Sizzix Big Shot Plus and Andy and Doreen have offered to supply fabric offcuts. Amanda is going to generate some samples to show its potential use for Marie B’s jewellery making and Marie K’s tailoring businesses in Freetown.
  • If you have tools to donate, please note (i) we cannot use power tools, as the electricity supply is intermittent in Freetown and the voltage fluctuates; (ii) worn saws do not cut the local hardwood that is commonly in use; and (iii) we need to talk about shipping costs, so get in touch to discuss this alongside your kind offer!

Selling flip flops

One of the Magnificent Seven, Lansana, has produced 20 pairs of handmade flip flops and asked us to help him sell them. We have them available in Nottingham at £5 (or more if you want!) per pair and so far have sold 11 pairs for a total of £85.

Next steps:

  • Amanda has taken them to Coffee and Cake at Foxhill and sold a few pairs. We are invited to sell them at Sparklers, so if anyone can staff a stall at St Nic’s Nottingham between 10am and 11am on a Wednesday morning, please get in touch. Carole-Ann is checking if they can be sold at Arimathea and the Salvation Army.
  • If you would like to buy a pair of Lansana’s flip flops or want to try and sell them on his behalf, please get in touch.

Surgery for Abu

Abu is another member of the Magnificent Seven. He wants an orthopaedic surgeon in Freetown to operate on both of his legs and fit a caliper, which he believes would give him a good chance that he could use crutches for the first time in his life. Currently, he relies on a hand-crank wheelchair, but there are few pavements or lifts in Freetown, so this surgery could give him a massive increase in mobility. Surgery, two weeks in hospital and a personalised caliper would cost Abu up to £2,900.

Next steps:

  •  If you would like to donate towards the cost of Abu’s surgery, please click here and go to the crowdfunding page that is kindly being hosted by the charity Medical Assistance Sierra Leone.
  • Why not add a link to the crowdfunding page to your personal email autosignature, your Facebook page ot Twitter feed and anywhere else you think of? Encourage us by letting us know if you do this.
  • We could run more fundraising events (Sarah has offered to bake!). At our fundraising event on 8 June 2018, we made a great start by raising £260, and Foxhill church added £39. We are currently at £1,049.
  • Jenny and Jackie are helping us find an orthopaedic surgeon in the UK who can talk to the surgeon in Freetown and help us understand more about the prognosis.
  • We are happy to give presentations about the partnership with Sierra Leone, so please get in touch if you would like to invite us to your community or church group.
  • Check if any of the charities listed on the DFiD website can help.
  • Seek support from charities. So far, approaches have been made to the Rebuild Consortium, Surgeons OverSeas, the Patcha Foundation, THET, the Rotary Foundation, and Africa surgery.
  • Abu wants to study law at Freetown university, so Andrew is looking for lawyer’s charities.