Southbourne students heading to Africa to help school

Bourne Community College students at Priors Orchard
Bourne Community College students at Priors Orchard

Ten students and two teachers from Bourne Community College in Southbourne have received sponsorship from Seaward Properties for their African Adventures trip to Ghana in February.

The students, aged between 13 and 15, will be helping to build extra school classrooms and teaching in a local school.

Year 11 student at Bourne, Dan Sims, approached the Chichester-based housebuilder for sponsorship and was delighted with its donation of £500.

Dan said: “I went to Ghana two years ago with the school and really wanted to go again. We’ll be staying at the same place so hopefully I’ll be able to see where the local craftsman carved our names into mortar. I enjoy the building work as you can see a physical difference which feels like a real achievement. The kids are smiling at you and in the breaks we’d sit around with them or play football together.”

Seaward Properties is currently developing new homes in Southbourne at Priors Orchard and when their specialist suppliers and subcontractors heard about the project, they got together to donate a further £3,000 to the school’s trip to Ghana.

The trip is arranged by Bourne Community College through African Adventures which organises the visit to the Dedzidi Community School in Woe Ghana.

Ryan Acquah, Curriculum Leader of PE and lead member of staff for Bourne’s trip to Ghana, said, “The support from Seaward Properties has been pivotal in supporting the students on the journey to Ghana.

“It has enabled the group to supply a second suitcase each which will be filled with various items that will be left for the children in Woe. The support has meant that students are able to leave more behind in the city of Woe to help those who are less fortunate. The support has also meant the group have some help with their fundraising as each student has had to raise £2000 each in order to attend the trip.”

Wide-ranging activities and events for this year’s fundraising have included a very popular gin tasting evening as well as car washing, cake sales, car boot sales, supermarket bag packing, and even selling sausages.

Jane Barker of Seaward Properties said: “We were so inspired by the enthusiasm of Dan and his school to help with the building of a school in Ghana that we wanted to help too. It’s a great refection on the quality of the local schools and community in Southbourne that we have such strong-minded young people who want to make a positive difference in the world.

“Our contractor colleagues then joined in to help the whole group as it’s such a great cause. We’re all looking forward to seeing the photos of the building in progress at Dedzidi School.”

Laura O’Hara of Simply New Homes at Henry Adams added: “Our sales team at Priors Orchard have been very impressed to see the generosity of so many of the companies behind these new homes which will help towards the building of school rooms in Ghana and of course such a great attitude from the young people in the Southbourne community.”

Dan Sims has attended local schools since the age of four when he started at Southbourne Infant School which is within walking distance of the new homes at Priors Orchard. He progressed to the neighbouring Junior School before starting secondary school at nearby Bourne Community College. After GCSEs Dan hopes to continue his studies at Chichester College which is easy to reach by train from Southbourne.

“It really is an amazing experience,” said Dan. “I’d recommend it to anybody. This sponsorship has made a real difference for us and now we’re all looking forward to the trip in February.”