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PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

News and Events Archive

Warning - This is an archive. Links to external websites may not still work

News October - December 2018

29 November 2018 - Pageant team have been in The Gambia Pippa, Carole, Regina and David have been in The Gambia for the regular November visit. Pippa kept us all up to date with their news with regular posts on the Pageant News blog. These posts have been copied to our page of collected posts on the Pageant website, so you can see them all in one place.

News July - September 2018

12 September 2018 - New Term - New Sponsorship Opportunities The new school term is starting in The Gambia, and also the new school year. All our children and young people who are looking for sponsorship will be moving up a grade and many will be changing schools. Now is the ideal time to start sponsoring one of these students. For further information about our scheme, have a look at our Sponsorship Information Page, and also at our Sponsorship Enquiry Page to see details of the students who need you help to continue their education.

7 August 2018 - Monitoring web page changes If you would like alerts when any of our pages gets changed, we can recommend some services which allow you to set this up. [see more details on this page]

10 July 2018 - Summer Party for Pageant members This year's Summer Party was held on Sunday, 8 July at Old School, Southwater. The event was well attended, with more than forty members, family and friends. All enjoyed an al-fresco lunch of both Gambian and British dishes. [Read Pippa's report]

News April - June 2018

11 June 2018 - MBE for Pageant Fundraiser - Carol Grace has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) "for services to the NHS and voluntary service to Education in The Gambia." More on her web page

11 June 2018 - Problems with our Forms - During a recent upgrade to the servers which host the Pageant website, a piece software which handles our on-line forms was removed. This meant that none of the forms on our pages were working for maybe several weeks, without us being aware of it. The server technical people have now fixed this, and with a small modification to our forms, all is now working again. Apologies to anyone who tried to use a form and it didn't work.

25 May 2018 - GDPR and Your Information - By now everyone must have heard about the new law which came into force today. The General Data Protection Regulation replaces the Data Protection Act 1998. GDPR governs how we collect your personal information, how we store it and how we use it. Pageant is confident that the ways in which we handle your information already comply with GDPR. We collect only the information we need for specified purposes, store it securely and only use it for lawfully permitted purposes. We will not pass on any information to third parties unless you tell us we can. GDPR also introduces rights which you have over your information, such as getting a copy, correcting any errors and having it completely erased We have updated our Privacy Policy to make it completely clear to everyone how Pageant handles your personal information.

News January - March 2018

22 March 2018 - Give to Gambia - Report - Nick Taylor has been in The Soma area of The Gambia, helping schools and communities with projects funded from his fundraising activities. Now read this report which he has written about these projects.

9 March 2018 - Donation of Furniture - You may remember that last summer Pageant loaded a container with donated furniture from the old Leatherhead Food Research Association building - see this news item about packing the container, and then this description of the unpacking in The Gambia. This news has now made it into the local press, and you can read the article from this link.

2 February 2018 - February Gambia Visit - Once again a Pageant team, consisting of Pippa, Kathy and Andrew, are in The Gambia for the regular February visit. Once again Andrew is battling with an unreliable internet to post news on the Pageant News Blog. We are copying posts all his posts to this dedicated page on our website, so you can see everything in one place. Keep checking this page for news as it comes in.

11 January 2018 - Pageant Website Report - This year the Pageant AGM will be delayed until Sunday 4th March. However, the 2017 website report is already on-line, so you can read it in advance and be ready with your questions.

News Archive October - December 2017

27 November 2017 - November trip - blog posts - A Pageant team has been in The Gambia from 7th to 27th November. Andrew Grove did a splendid job keeping us up to date with their news with regular posts on the Pageant News blog. These posts have all been copied to our page of collected posts. Keep checking because there are still more photos to come.

1 November 2017 - Pageant website issues - A page for people interested in how our website is built and maintained. Keeping pace with browser updates

17 October 2017 - Wandifa's page updated - Our main agent in The Gambia is Wandifa Saidykhan. We have just updated his web page with stories from other pages and brought it right up to date. Have a look at Wandifa's page here.

News Archive July - September 2017

28 September 2017 - Another container for The Gambia - Our 2017 summer container is on its way to The Gambia. Pageant members and other helpers stuffed it full with furniture and many other items on Saturday 16 September at the old Leatherhead Food RA building, with the permission of the current site owners, Titan Properties Ltd. Our grateful thanks to Titan for providing the facilities for loading the container, for providing security while we were there and for allowing us to help ourselves to a lot of furniture and other items which were still in the building. Also our thanks to our splendid team of packers.
More details on this news page.

18 September 2017 - Cycling Croatia for Pageant In August 2017, Ben Johnstone and Fedor Stürken undertook a sponsored cycle ride along the Croatian coast. They rode from Split to Pula, a distance of about 450km, with only bikes and sleeping bags and raised over £1000 for Pageant. Ben & Fedor are ex-students of Christs Hospital school, which has strong links with Pageant. They raised most of sponsorship via a GoFundMe page which is still open for donations - so it's not too late for you to add a bit more!

Pageant has a number of projects in The Gambia where this money would make a tremendous difference. Ben and Fedor will soon be choosing which project (or projects) they would like to help, and it should be possible to get things started when a Pageant team visits The Gambia in November.

3 September 2017 - New school year in The Gambia - As here in the UK, September marks the start of a new school year in The Gambia. All the students Pageant helps have moved up a grade, and many have changed to new schools. Please have a look at our sponsorship page to see the students still looking for sponsorship. Maybe you can help.

3 August 2017 - Pageant website is mobile friendly Mobile phones have now overtaken desktops and laptops as the main means of accessing the internet. We have a programme of converting all our main website pages to 'responsive' format - so that they can be accessed with equal ease no matter what the screen size of the device. At present 139 out of a total of 376 pages are in responsive format. This may seem to be a small proportion, but most of the unconverted pages are archives which are seldom accessed. Looking at pages viewed this year so far, 84% of these views were to responsive pages. Despite this most of our users are using large screen devices. Only about a quarter access our website from smartphones. See full details

11 July 2017 - Battle Rotary Club supports Pageant's work - David Daniels CBE, President of the Rotary Club of Battle, presented Pippa and Andrew with a cheque for £500 at Pageant's annual members' summer party. See photo & more details

News Archive April - June 2017

9 June 2017 - Centre Academy East Anglia - CAEA in Suffolk, which specialises in the education of pupils with a broad range of learning challenges, has raised more than £1300 for Pageant (see more on their new Pageant page) This has been used to fund the refurbishment of classrooms at Unity Nursery in The Gambia.

8 April 2017 - Carol visits Humanity Nursery - Pageant member Carol Peckham (Grace) has been to The Gambia and visited Humanity Nursery. She handed over £500 which had been donated by the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust from the proceeds of their staff pantomime. She saw the improvements Faks is making after the school moved to its new site, as well as the Chicken House Project at the old site. See more details

News Archive January - March 2017

19 March 2017 - Stafford Half Marathon - Pageant member Carol Peckham (Grace) completed the Stafford Half Marathon today in just over 2 hours. Please help her fund projects in The Gambia by making a donation to sponsor her. See more details

5 March 2017 - Pantomime helps Pageant - Pageant member Carol Peckham (Grace) has starred in the annual pantomime at the NHS Trust where she works. This year they have split the proceeds from ticket sales and the raffle between four charities, and Carol has been given £500 for Pageant's work in The Gambia. Read more here. Previously the Humanity Nursery School, has benefited from money raised by Carol. Carol and Pageant are now deciding how they can best use this extra funding. Carol and Richard will be going to The Gambia later this month, and will be able to hand over the money to the chosen project(s).

28 February 2017 - Pageant's News from The Gambia A Pageant team of Pippa, Miriam, Richard, Kathy and Andrew have been in The Gambia. There was the usual programme of visits to schools and sponsored children, and the trip finished with two days of Microscopy Workshops. The Gambia is suffering frequent power outages. Most hotels have back-up generators, but the cost of fuel is extremely high, so the generators may only run at certain times. Internet service providers and mobile phone companies are also badly affected by the power cuts, and the result is that internet access is very difficult. Despite this Pippa and Andrew kept us up to date with posts to the Pageant News Blog and we have collected these posts on this web page. We hope to add extra photos soon.

9 February 2017 - Visit to The Gambia A Pageant team are making their regular February visit to The Gambia. Pippa, Miriam and Richard travelled out on the first Thomas Cook flight to resume after the crisis following the change of president, with Andrew and Kathy following a week later. As usual for the February trip, there will be visits to schools and sponsored children, and towards the end of the trip, Microscopy Workshops for student teachers. Both Pippa and Andrew hope to be posting their news on the Pageant News Blog. Once again, we will collect these posts so you can see them all in one place.

3 February 2017 - Flights to The Gambia Tour operators and airlines have now resumed flights to The Gambia. However, some have reduced the number of flights per week in anticipation of reduced demand. Please check for any changes of schedule.
Tourism is a vital part of the Gambian economy, and the recent crisis has seriously affected the tourism industry. The state of emergency has been lifted, things are returning to normal, and The Gambia is probably as safe for travellers now as it was before the crisis. Why not take advantage of some great deals available now.

23 January 2017 - Gambia Travel Update UK Government has removed their warning not to travel to The Gambia. see Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice to travellers. We expect flights and holidays to be resumed in the near future. Please check with your travel agent or tour company.

22 January 2017 - Gambia Travel Update Ex-president Jammeh has now left The Gambia, and there is every hope of a peaceful transition to a new administration headed by President Adama Barrow. It is likely that direct fights from the UK will be resuming in about a week. Tourism is vital to the Gambian economy, so please go ahead with any planned visit as soon as it is safe to do so. Keep checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice to travellers. We will tell you on this page as soon as this advice changes.

18 January 2017 - Gambia Travel Advice The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all but essential travel to The Gambia due to the deteriorating political situation and potential military intervention following the Presidential elections on 1 December. Read more here.

January 2017 - Pageant AGM The fifteenth AGM will be on Sunday 29th January at 2.30pm at Old School, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9DT. All members sre invited to attend, and should have had their emailed invitation. The 2016 website report is already on-line, so you can read it in advance.

News Archive October - December 2016

15 December 2016 - Nick Taylor's 'Give to Gambia' project Pageant member, Nick Taylor, has launched his 'Give to Gambia' project to bring help to communities in the Soma area of The Gambia. As part of his fundraising, he will be running the Eastbourne and Hastings half marathons, and then the 2017 Rome Marathon. Find our more about his project and his fundraising on Nick's Pageant page.

4 December 2016 - Gambia Trip - Blog Postings - A Pageant team was in The Gambia for three weeks for their regular November visit. Andrew uploaded daily posts to the Pageant News Blog and has just posted some extra photos. For your convenience, I have copied everything onto this page of collected posts.

24 October 2016 - Harvest Festival at Manor Green School - Manor Green Primary School in Crawley have just held their Harvest Festival celebrations. They collected lots of packets of seeds which will be taken to The Gambia for school and village gardens. [more on this news page]

16 October 2016 - Fundraising at Centre Academy - Centre Academy East Anglia near Ipswich has raised over £1300 for Pageant. [more on their Pageant page] This money will be used for our projects in The Gambia, and we hope to report back to you on how it has been spent early next year.

5 October 2016 - Jo Conlon's Lisbon Marathon - Jo Conlon completed the 2016 Lisbon Marathon on 2 October, with a time of 5 hours, 32 minutes and 6 seconds. She ran in Lisbon, as injury prevented her taking part in the 2016 Brighton Marathon. But she will be in the Brighton run next year, so she is still fundraising for Pageant and the Thyroid Cancer Support Group Wales. Follow this link for more news and to make a donation.

News Archive July - September 2016

5 September 2016 - Ian Howard's Funeral Ian's funeral will take place in the Kingswood Chapel, Worthing Crematorium, Findon, BN14 0RQ on Thursday 15th September at 11.40 am. All are welcome to join the family after the service at Cissbury, Nepcote BN14 0SR.

3 September 2016 - Ian Howard It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that Ian Howard, chairman and co-founder of Pageant, died peacefully at home on Tuesday 30th August 2016.

We would like to pay tribute to his dedication and commitment to the charity over the past sixteen years. He will be sorely missed for many reasons, from his tireless efforts to improve the lives of so many Gambian children to his expert packing skills when faced with goods shipments to the Gambia, whether multi-pallet part-container loads or complete 40 foot container lorries.

31 July 2016 - Holly Howard's Coast to Coast Challenge - Helping others and fundraising for good causes seems to be a characteristic of the Howard family. Pippa and Ian's 11 year old granddaughter, Holly, decided to cycle across the width of England to raise money for Diabetes UK. Holly and her dad Gavin set off from Weston-Super-Mare on the Bristol Channel on 25 July. Their route took them through Bath, Reading and London, ending some 400km later at Margate on the English Channel.

They completed their challenge in six days, having covered 261 miles in just under 24 hours on the bike at an average speed 11 miles an hour. Before they started out, Holly was interviewed by Bristol Sport, so please have a look at this video, where she explains why she was doing this challenge. For more details and daily updates, please have a look at Holly's fundraising page. Holly's fundraising target was £5000, but so far they have raised over £8000 - and it's not too late to add to this!

Not much to do with The Gambia? Well in the UK around 6% of the population are diabetic, whereas in The Gambia it is around 10%. It is predicted that this could more than double by 2030, mainly due to an increase in Type 2 diabetes, which could be linked to large amounts of white rice in the diet (more information). People of Black African origin are up to three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than people of White European origin (more information). Diabetes UK is a major supporter of research which will benefit people with diabetes all over the world. So supporting Holly's Coast to Coast Challenge will indirectly help people in The Gambia.

3 July 2016 - Container arrives in The Gambia Our summer 2016 container has arrived in The Gambia, where it was unloaded and all items distributed to the receiving schools in just one day of hard work by Pageant's agents and teams from the schools. See photos of the unloading.

News Archive April - June 2016

2016 Pageant Newsletter Our members are sent a Pageant Newsletter by post (snail mail) around this time of year. We have decided to make this available online in PDF format. You can read it here by clicking this link.

7 June 2016 - Another sponsorship success story One of our sponsored students, Momodou, has got his first job with an architects practice after studying at Gambia Technical Training Institute. Read Momodou's story here.

28 May 2016 - Our biggest container load yet! - Our 2016 summer is on its way to The Gambia, packed with two lots of school furniture, some office furniture and many other items. It was packed in three phases on Saturday 7 May, Saturday 14 May and Sunday 22 May. This is probably the largest load we have sent to to The Gambia yet.
More details on this news page.

26 April 2016 - Christ's Hospital Team for The Gambia Peele House at Christ's Hospital School have had a long association with Pageant, raising funds for our projects and sponsoring children in Gambian schools. Five students are planning to travel to The Gambia in February 2017 to see firsthand the effects of their support, as well teaching and helping with sport in three schools. They will be taking with them teaching resources and sports equipment.

They are now starting to raise £3,800 to pay for accommodation, travel, and food and to buy things to take with them. Their fundraising challenge is to cover the 4432km distance to The Gambia by each of them running 107km, cycling 342km and rowing 348km in the school gym. Please help by making a donation from this JustGiving page.

17 April 2016 - Pageant visit to Unity Nursery A Pageant team visited Unity Nursery, where the children were involved in a celebration parade organised by Banjul city council. Yankuba has sent us some photos showing the children all dressed up for the occasion. See the photos on this update to our Unity Nursery page.

News Archive January - March 2016

31 March 2016 - Jo Conlon changes her plans Due to a cracked rib, Jo has had to stop training and won't now be running in the 2016 Brighton Marathon. However, she has enrolled in the Lisbon Marathon in October, and will be taking part in the 2017 Brighton Marathon. Further information on Jo's fundraising page

27 March 2016 - Rachel Barnes nightwalk update Pageant member Rachel Barnes took part in Bogle 2016, a 55 mile walk in and around Manchester on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March. With only three days of fundraising, she exceeded her target of £150, but I'm sure she will accept late donations.

26 March 2016 - Pageant Team in The Gambia Once again a team from the UK plus our incredible guys in The Gambia will be visiting families and schools, with some creative lessons and lots of fun. News  will be posted on the Pageant News Blog, but for your convenience we will be collecting the blog posts on this web page so you can see them all in one place.

25 March 2016 - Jo Conlon's Half Marathon Jo took part in the Brighton Half Marathon on 28 February, resulting in a boost of more than £110 to her fundraising. She has nearly reached her target of £800, so please help her to exceed her target with more donations. Further information on Jo's fundraising page

2 March 2016 - Rachel Barnes 55 mile nightwalk Pageant member Rachel Barnes is taking part in Bogle 2016, a 55 mile walk in and around Manchester on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March. She is trying to raise £150 in sponsorship, and Pageant is one of the charities she is supporting. Please help her achieve or even exceed her target, and help Pageant and two other worthy charities.
Click this link to go to Rachel's fundraising page.

3 February 2016 - Workshops news on the Pageant Blog The Pageant team in The Gambia will be posting news about the Workshops and other aspects of their visit on the Pageant Blog. For you convenience, we will be collecting all the posts as they happen on this website page.

31 January 2016 - Microscopy & Science Workshops A pageant team is making its regular February visit to The Gambia, and will be running more Microscopy & Science Workshops for Gambian teachers. This will be the second year of a 5-year project to demonstrate the effectiveness of such workshops.
[more details on the 2016 Workshops page]

16 January 2016 - Humanity Chicken Project Carol Grace raised over £500 in sponsorship when she ran the Donington Park Half Marathon. She has used a lot of this to help Humanity Nursery School set up a project to raise chickens, Sale of chickens and eggs will then help pay teacher's salaries. See Carol's Fundraising Page for details of her half marathon, and our Humanity Nursery Page for more about the chicken project.

13 January 2016 - Website Report for 2015 Pageant members attending the AGM next Sunday might like to see the annual website report, so they can ask the webmaster awkward questions.
[Website Annual Report 2015]

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Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963
Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963