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Donation of Microscopes by Tyne Metropolitan College

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Pageant News 6 August 2011

On 20th July 2011 we received an email from Lyndsey Richardson, Science Technician, at Tyne Metropolitan College offering us 20 Olympus and Philip Harris microscopes, which were no longer suitable for use by their students. Although a few years old, they were all in good condition. Pippa replied immediately and said "Yes Please!". Lyndsey had contacted several charities with her offer, but we were the first to reply, so we could have the microscopes as long as we could transport them!

Our next task was to organise collection. Alan, a work colleague of Pippa’s, kindly agreed to collect them from Lyndsey’s lab on his way back from a job up in Scotland, so they arrived at ERA in Leatherhead on Monday 1 August. Kathy, who also works as a microscopist in Leatherhead, brought her rather larger car over to collect them from ERA and delivered them to Pippa & Ian’s house on Friday evening. Kathy and Pippa then had a great time unpacking several of the microscopes and using them to look at some of the very nice slides that Lyndsey had packed into one of the boxes. They all worked really well and will be a huge benefit to several Gambian schools and to Gambia College, the Teacher Training College in Brikama.

The photo shows all 20 microscopes lined up ready for packing on Pippa’s dining room table (suitably adorned with a Gambian tie-dyed tablecloth). Each microscope has its own dustcover – a very necessary feature for a Gambian classroom! We are just about to pack up several pallets of school and college materials for shipping to The Gambia in the next month or so, and the microscopes will be included in this shipment.

We are hoping to run some more Practical Microscopy Workshops in the near future, this time at Gambia College for the trainee teachers. These microscopes will be perfect for use in the workshops and then many of them can be distributed to some of the schools to which the newly trained teachers will be sent.

Our most grateful thanks go to Lyndsey and all at Tyne Metropolitan College for this wonderful donation – it will make a lot of difference to the Science lessons of a large number of Gambian children, who would otherwise never be able to see, let alone use, a microscope at all.

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