Three of the organisers of a sale held on Saturday to raise funds to build a school in Gambia are Tanya Catt, centre, her husband Tim, and daughter Hayley Page.

First £4,500 raised towards building a school in Gambia

Shops, businesses, friends, family and Uckfield townspeople rallied to support the first of a series of fund-raising events towards building a school in Gambia – and it was a colossal success.

More than £4,500 of a £12,000 total is now in the kitty and Tanya and Tim Catt who were inspired to launch the project are already dreaming up other ideas to raise more money.

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Selling refreshments for Our Gambia Project are Pat Poulter and Tasha Owen.

Tanya said people had asked what they would do if they didn’t manage to raise the total needed to buy land and pay building costs but she told Uckfield News: “That is not an option. We will keep organising events until we have raised all the money needed.”

A massive sale, held on Saturday at the Cinque Ports Club, was busy from the moment it opened at 11am until it ended after 3pm.

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In charge of the bric-a-brac section are Leigh Parsons and Lisa Lunn.

It was well organised with generous  donations of new and nearly-new stock divided into different sections, for children, sports, garden, books, DVDs, cakes and coffee.

Volunteers manned the stalls including some who have held fund-raising events for their own causes in the past.

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Wendy Newton-May on the tombola stall.

Kate Miller, who helped her daughter, Natalie with a campaign to kit out children in the Caribbean with netball equipment said: “What goes round comes round.”

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Daughter and mother, Natalie and Kate Miller on the cash desk at the Our Gambia Project sale.

She and Natalie, who helped man the cash desk, added: “When we needed help people rallied to the cause, now it is our turn to step up.”

Tanya said the support and advice of another fund-raising veteran Michelle Wright, who has organised a similar sale in the past, was invaluable. Michelle worked tirelessly with Tanya, as did Tanya’s husband Tim, and her daughter Hayley Page to ensure the sale ran smoothly.

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Karen Jackson from Renew beauty and wellbeing donated her time and gave funds raised from treatments to Our Gambia Project.

The youngest volunteer was four-year-old Annabelle Paul, who under the watchful eye of her mother Natalie, charmed shoppers in the children’s section.

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Youngest volunteer Annabelle Paul, four, is pictured on the children’s stall with her mum Natalie.

All the work and sleepless nights paid off for Tanya when she realised £3,400 was raised from the sale. Cash donations took the total to more than £4,500.

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Lucy Ashenden pictured at a children’s colouring and crafts table at the Our Gambia Project sale.

Tanya said she was grateful to Moova and Andy Owner for transporting all the goods.

She added: “I am amazed how much money we raised. We are so grateful to everyone who donated and the people who came and supported us. The hard work was worth it.”

Tanya has already texted Bernadette, her contact in Gambia, to tell her the good news about the progress of fund-raising.

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