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PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

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Pageant Ethical Gifts - Did you know about Pageant's Ethical Gifts Scheme? [more details of our gift scheme] You can give our tokens for any celebration, providing help for schools, children and village communities in The Gambia.

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Latest News

15 February 2021 - Pageant container for The Gambia loaded - Such good news in these rather downbeat times - on 15 February 2021, a 20 foot container was loaded with school furniture and materials from Whipton Barton Junior School in Exeter. This school is re-fitting and has offered its current classroom furniture to Pageant for use in Gambian schools - not only that, but the children and staff have raised the money to ship the container out to Banjul. Not only this container either - they plan to load and ship another one in July, following the end of the summer term. Read more and see the photos.

28 January 2021 - Dave Gray, Pageant's webmaster, passed away - It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that Dave Gray, Pageant's webmaster, passed away in hospital on New Year's Eve 2020. He had been admitted just before Christmas with a leg problem and, according to his death certificate, died from Covid19 and congestive cardiac failure. I had spoken to him a couple of days before he was admitted to hospital and it has all come as a real shock, particularly as his dear wife Jo's funeral was only in early November.

We would like to pay tribute to his dedication and commitment to the charity's website over the past nearly eighteen years - he started it as his gift to Pageant in April 2003, around the time of his retirement from ERA (where we had been colleagues for many years before that). Dave had a great, dry sense of humour and was a really excellent problem solver, meticulous in all his researching of details for the website - he will be sorely missed.

News July - December 2020

29 November 2020 - Please sponsor a Gamian student - We have just updated our list of students needing sponsorship to continue their education. The list has been increased in size by 17 students who were previously sponsored, but have received nothing from their sponsors this year despite reminders sent to their sponsors. Pageant has been able to keep these students in school using money from our Emergency Sponsorship Fund. We cannot do this indefinitely, so if you are able to take on a long term commitment, please sponsor one of our students starting at just £90 per year. Alternatively. please donate to our Emergency Sponsorship Fund.

26 November 2020 - Gambian schools re-open - All Gambian schools were closed back in March to reduce the spread of the Covid 19 virus. We are pleased to announce that all schools and colleges have now re-opened. Gambian students have missed about half a year of teaching, and there is a lot of catching up to do. The tourist industry is at a standstill and there have been huge job losses. Many Gambian families have no source of income, and there are many more poor students who may not be able to afford to go back to school. Our updated list of students needing sponsorship will be available soon. More information on this news page.

News April - June 2020

27 May 2020 - Online Donations Update - Pageant has continued to review information emerging about the Wonderful Organisation. We are now fairly certain that their online donation service will be closed for an extended period and may never reopen. From now on all our online donations will be handled by Virgin Money Giving, who provide an excellent service to Pageant and to our fundraisers.

14 May 2020 - Online Donations - Until recently Pageant's main provider for online donations has been the Wonderful Organisation. However, their website has been unavailable since the end of March while they do a major rebuild. All donations to Pageant are now being processed by Virgin Money Giving. We apologise to anyone who tried to make a donation through the Wonderful Organisation over the last few weeks. Unfortunately we were not given advance notice that their website would be closed, so we were unable to make a seamless transfer to Virgin Money Giving. when it happened.

News January - March 2020

7 March 2020 - Progress Towards Mobile Friendly - From 2015 to 2018 we undertook a programme of converting all our main web pages to a responsive format, so that they could be viewed equally well on large screen desktops and on small screen smartphones. We thought we had done enough to increase access from mobile devices, but this has remained at a fairly constant 30%. Further analysis indicates that the large number of unconverted 'archive' pages could be an issue with the Google search engine. So we may need to extend the conversion process until the entire website is responsive. Read more about it on this news page.

1 March 2020 - Pageant's February visit blog posts - Pippa, Kathy, Andrew and Joe are now all back in the UK after their February trip to The Gambia. The last Blog Post has been made and you can see all the posts in one place on this summary web page.

29 February 2020 - Christ's Hospital Steeplechase - Christ's Hospital (CH), an independent school near Horsham, has an annual inter-house cross country run known as the 'Steeplechase'. This year it takes place on 12 March. They have introduced sponsorship of the house teams for the first time. Peele B House have helped Pageant with fundraising in many ways for many years, so they have chosen to raise money for Pageant in this year's Steeplechase. If you have any association with Peele B House at CH, then you might like to consider helping Pageant by sponsoring their team via this Virgin Money Giving page.

16 February 2020 - 2019 Website Report - Unfortunately circumstances will probably prevent your webmaster from attending the AGM on 8 March. I have therefor put the 2019 Website Report online so that you can all read it in advance of the meeting. If you have any questions or comments I will be pleased to answer them by email. Please contact me by email - contact pageant webmaster

31 January 2020 - Pageant's February visit to The Gambia - On Tuesday 4 January, Pippa, Kathy and Andrew will be making their regular February trip to The Gambia. They will be accompanied for part of the visit by physics teacher, Joe Brock who has run our physics workshops in The Gambia many times before. The team will make their usual visits to students and their families to catch up with them and pay sponsorship monies. They will also be visiting schools to look at completed and part completed projects and to consider new projects. There will also be other usual numerous activities.

A large part of the visit will be devoted to running Science Workshops for student teachers at Gambia College, This year Pippa, Kathy and Wandifa will be running microscopy workshops, and Joe, Andrew, Yankuba and Abdoulie will be running physics workshops. Andrew will be making regular posts on Pageant's News Blog to keep you all up to date on what they are up to. We will be copying Andrew's posts onto this summary web page.

14 January 2020 - Carole Odumo visits Gambian Scouts Carole was recently in The Gambia where she visited the 2nd Kombo Scout Group which has links with the 1st Fetcham Scout Group in the UK. Read her account of her visit.

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