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PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

News and Events Archive 2010-11

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

News Archive October - December 2011

19 December 2011 - Pageant AGM Our next AGM will be held on Sunday 22nd January 2012. All members are welcome. Please see our members page for details.

13 December 2011 - Letter of Thanks - Pageant has received a letter from the Mr Obasi, Headmaster of the Seventh Day Adventist School in Serrekunda, thanking us for receipt of donated classroom furniture. (see letter)

12 December 2011 - Motic donates 50 microscopes for Microscopy Workshops - The European arm of Chinese microscope manufacturer, Motic, has made a very generous donation of 50 microscopes for use in Pageant's forthcoming Microscopy Workshops in The Gambia.
news item and details about the workshops)

7 December 2011 Updates: Goats Page - four kids born to goats donated by Pageant; Sarah's Page - Taps installed and working at Barra-Essau school; Workshops Page - More people to thank.

3 December 2011 - Get 'Find and Remind' Toolbar and Pageant gets 50p - This week only. (details)

29 November 2011 - Microscopy and Physics Workshops 2012 - Details about the workshops to be held in February 2012 are now on this Workshops page .

18 November 2011 - Two New Ethical Gifts - We have added two items to our list - a Science Teaching Kit and a book Teaching Practical Physics Anywhere. Both are used in our highly successful Practical Physics Workshops. (see our List of Gifts and see below for details of our next workshops)

15 November 2011 - More Pageant Workshops for 2012 - In February 2012, Pageant will run both Microscopy and Practical Physics Workshops for trainee science teachers in The Gambia. The Microscopy Workshops will be funded using 3,185 from the Royal Microscopical Society Vice Presidents’ Award 2011. (see this news page)

12 November 2011 - Shop Online and Raise Money for Pageant - Easyfundraising is a shopping directory with over 2000 online retailers on its list. If you shop via Pageant's page, these retailers make a donation of a percentage of the purchase price to Pageant, but it doesn't cost you an extra penny.
see further details)

4 November 2011 - Sarah Hayes fundraising to bring water to Barra-Essau school See Sarah's webpage.

11 October 2011 - Sarah Hayes' own account - Read Sarah's own account of her epic day when she broke the Guinness World Record. See Sarah's webpage.

9 October 2011 - Sarah Hayes beats Guinness World Record - Sarah's time in the 2011 Chester Marathon was 4hr 33min 59sec - a new record for the fastest marathon dressed as a bottle (female). Congratulations to Sarah on her incredible achievement. See Sarah's webpage for more details.

2 October 2011 - Sarah Hayes gets approval for the bottle - At last, Guinness World Records have approved Sarah's bottle costume for her record attempt on the fastest marathon dressed as a bottle (female). See Sarah's webpage for more details.

News Archive July - September 2011

25 September 2011 - Sarah Hayes & Berlin Marathon - Sarah has completed her last preparation run before the Chester Marathon. See Sarah's webpage for more details.

25 September 2011 - Two unexpected donations - totalling 600 from MOFEST & Spalding High School (see news page)

19 September 2011 - Pleasure Singers Concert raises 354 for Pageant (see further details)

13 September 2011 - Sarah Hayes and the Bacchus Marathon - Sarah completed the 26.2 mile hilly course in a few seconds over 5 hours on Sunday 11 September. A good time, seeing it was the first official outing for the bottle costume 'LG'. See Sarah's webpage for more details.

8 September 2011 - Sarah Hayes costume revealed - Sarah will be running the Chester Marathon on 9 October dressed as a bottle of Loweswater Gold. She will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon by a woman dressed as a beer bottle. See an exclusive peek at her costume on her webpage.

6 September 2011 - Sarah Hayes & Toad Challenge - Sarah ran 90 miles from Oxford to Walton-on-Thames along the Thames National Trail over the three days, 2-4 September. She came 14th overall with a total time of 17h 50m 30s.
her webpage for more information about on this and her next challenge - The Bacchus Marathon.

22 August 2011 - More Goodies for The Gambia - 4 pallets of schools furniture and other lots of other goodies are on their way to The Gambia. (see news item)

22 August 2011 - Sarah Hayes runs the Seaford Marathon. See her webpage for more information.

6 August 2011 - Donation of Microscopes - Tyne Metropolitan College has given Pageant 20 optical microscopes. We plan to use these for more Practical Microscopy Workshops in The Gambia, and then supply them to schools and the teacher training college. (see news item)

1 August 2011 - Sarah Hayes - Adidas 24 Hour Thunder Run - Sarah completed 120km (75 miles) in 24 hours. See her webpage for more information.

27 July 2011 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - The challenge to drive from the UK to Banjul is on again later this year. There's still time to sign up! (more information)

26 July 2011 - Sponsor Sarah - Sarah Hayes will be running the Chester Marathon in October dressed as a beer bottle, and is also hoping to win a Guinness World Record. She is trying to raise 1500 for Pageant. See her webpage for a link to sponsor her attempt.

26 July 2011 - New Zealand artist sponsors Gambian student - Pageant's Sponsorship Scheme has spanned oceans with New Zealand artist Allie Eagle sponsoring Mola, a University of The Gambia student. (read the story)

24 July 2011 - TV Programme - Did you see the programme 'Holiday Hijack' on Channel 4 at 8 pm on Sunday 24 July? This featured The Gambia and despite the hype, it showed where Pageant goes and what we do. We hope that it will encourage holiday-makers to go out of their hotels to see the 'real' Gambia and meet the delightful people. If you missed it you can see it online by clicking this link, or if you have cable, see it on 'Catch-up TV on Demand'.

23 July 2011 - Sarah Hayes Latest - Sarah ran the 50 Mile Challenge (double marathon) in Kent on 17 July in a time of 12 hours 13 minutes See more details on her webpage,

23 July 2011 - Lauren & Dan's Blog - Lauren Rickwood and Dan Langdon taught in three Gambian schools, as part of their Education Degree Course. They told their story in this blog, and now we have brought this material together into a single website page.

16 July 2011 - Sarah Hayes' Chester Marathon - Sarah will be running the Chester Marathon in October dressed as a beer bottle. She will be sponsored by Cumbrian Legendary Ales,

13 July 2011 - Pageant's Facebook Page - Did you know that Pageant has a page on Facebook? We want our members to use this page, so we needed a 'username' to give us an easy link to the page. In just two days we got our 25 fans (people clicking the 'Like' button), so we can now announce our permanent link:
[This Facebook page no longer exists]

10 July 2011 - Lauren and Dan's blog - Lauren Rickwood and Dan Langdon have just completed three weeks of teaching in three Gambian schools, as part of their Education Degree Course. Lauren has visited The Gambia many times, taking part in Science seminars and other Pageant schemes. They have produced their own blog, with regular posts telling their story. Read all about it by clicking this link.

5 July 2011 - Sarah Hayes' preparations for Chester Marathon - Sarah will be running the Chester Marathon in October, and is preparing by running a whole series of marathons and super-marathons. We have the results of three of these races on her webpage,

News Archive April - June 2011

30 June 2011 - Donate by Text Message This service was provided by Vodafone through Just Giving, but is no longer available.

22 June 2011 - UK recession affects sponsorship - Difficult economic conditions in the UK have meant that some of Pageant's sponsors can no longer afford to sponsor children in The Gambia. If this is  your predicament, please let us know (see our contact page), so that we can arrange a new sponsor as quickly as possible. Our Emergency Sponsorship Fund, which aims to keep such students at school until a new sponsor is found, is now not large enough to meet demand, so support for this is now more vital than ever. Please consider making a donation to this fund (see further details). If you can afford a long term commitment, then please consider sponsoring one of the 47 students, ranging in age from 3 to 23, who are currently seeking sponsorship. Several are in urgent need owing to their current sponsor being unable to continue to support them. See our Sponsorship Enquiry Page for a complete up-to-date list of all students seeking sponsorship.

4 June 2011 - Play Equipment for Gambian Schools - Sue and Phil Taylor have already shipped a container load of outdoor play equipment to a Gambian nursery school, and are now fundraising to cover the costs of sending further containers (read about Sue and Phil's project)

1 June 2011 - Sarah Hayes to run Chester Marathon Sarah has entered the 2011 Chester Marathon, and will be raising sponsorship for Pageant. Not content with running 26 miles, she will run dressed in a unique outfit to earn a place in Guinness World Records. See details on her webpage,

29 May 2011 - Practical Physics Workshops - Pageant ran these workshops over three days in February, and we have only just got round to a detailed report on this website! (see our updated page)

27 May 2011 - Banyaka Lower Basic School - Chestnut Grove School funds windows and floor tiles for the new school library. (read the story)

26 May 2011 - Humanity Nursery School gets help from Pageant (read the story)

26 May 2011 - Update on Modou Lamin - Last year we took the unusual step of appealing for funds for Modou Lamin, who had his deformed leg amputated at the knee. The appeal aimed to raise 700 for the cost of materials and multiple appointments for limb-fitting, physiotherapy etc. Your generosity meant that we more than DOUBLED that amount. Modou Lamin now has medical and physio support assured for several years to come. He is now able to walk unaided and play football. (read Modou Lamin's story)

24 May 2011 - Stolen Goats - Our Goats Page tells the story of how Pageant's generous supporters raised an amazing amount of money to replace seven goats stolen from a poor Gambian family, with enough left over to buy goats for two more poor families.

5 May 2011 - Sarah Hayes to run the Chester Marathon for Pageant - Sarah Hayes has entered the 2011 Chester Marathon, and will be raising sponsorship for Pageant. The race takes place on 9th October, starting and finishing at Chester Racecourse, and passing through stunning Cheshire and North Wales villages and countryside. See Chester Marathon website for more details. Sarah has previously raised money for Pageant by running the Marine Corps 10k race in Washington DC. See details on her webpage, which we will keep updated with more information as we get it.

25 April 2011 - Pageant Team in The Gambia - Pippa, Tina and Frances have returned from their visit to The Gambia, where they helped with some "creative Art and Science lessons" in several schools. They also visited families, and bought some goats! Frances posted daily reports on our News Blog, and we have collected these posts onto this page.

6 April 2011 - New Ethical Gifts - Following the overwhelming response to our stolen goats appeal, we have decided to add a goat to our list of ethical gifts. We have also added Artemisia annua plants, which will allow village communities to grow their own effective remedy against malearia. (see details of our Artemisia Project) One ethical gift has been dropped from our list. We no longer suggest the integrated desk unit, as it is very difficult to organise fabrication of just one of these, and anyone chosing this ethical gift would have to wait until there was sufficient to make a reasonably sized batch. (see our List of Gifts)

4 April 2011 - Stolen Goats - Updated - We reached our original target of 240 within 5 days, so we increased it to 450 so that we could replace all 7 goats and build a secure enclosure. The total now stands at a staggering 818.14 - enough to build a shelter, replace all the goats, with possibly some extras, and also give some goats to another poor family. The appeal will close shortly. Our grateful thanks to all who have contributed, especially staff at ERA Technology, and members of St John's Church, Broadbridge Heath. See this news page for more information.

News Archive January - March 2011

23 March 2011 - World Malaria Day (25 April) marks global efforts to control malaria, working towards zero malaria deaths by 2015. Pageant's small but significant contribution is providing mosquito nets to families, and encouraging villagers to grow artemisia annua plants, which can be used to combat the effects of malaria. Help us fight malaria by buying a mosquito net as an ethical gift (more info)  See our complete List of Gifts, Read more about Defeating Malaria and about our Artemisia Project.

8 March 2011 - Help us replace some stolen goats - A very poor family in The Gambia has had all 7 goats stolen. These goats were the only things of value that they possessed. Pageant has launched an urgent appeal to 4 or 5 of these goats. We are trying to raise 240. Please see this news page for more information and to make a donation.

21 February 2011 - Science in The Gambia - Pageant has organised Workshops for Science Teachers in The Gambia to complement the handing over of 13,000 worth of educational science equipment donated by Technology Supplies Ltd. (more about the Science Workshops)

1 February 2011 - Message from Yankuba - Yankuba Ceesay is Pageant’s assistant agent with special responsibility for the up-country regions on the South Bank such as Jarreng. He sent us a message to be read out at our recent AGM, and we thought we should share it with you. (read Yankuba's message)

30 January 2011 - Microscopy Workshops Article - The current issue 20 of 'infocus' magazine, published by the Royal Microscopical Society, has an article about the Microscopy Workshops held in The Gambia by Pageant in February 2010. (see PDF version of the article)

15 January 2011 - Sainey Darboe's article in 'Today' - Sainey Darboe lives in in Gunjur, in the southern part of The Gambia, and is a law student at the university. He is a regular contributor to the Pageant News Blog. Sainey pays for his books and travel by writing freelance articles for 'Today', one of The Gambia's most important newspapers. We thought you might like to see a sample of his very professional work in the online version (click this link). He comments on the effects of the recent increases in the prices of basic foodstuffs. This highlights the problems currently faced by families who are even more in need of sponsorship to send their children to school.

12 January 2011 - Changes to Gift Aid - Transitional arrangements will end on 6 April 2011 and the amount Pageant gets back for Gift Aided donations will fall. Please help us by bringing forward any donations you intend to make to before this date (more details)

6 January 2011 - Pageant AGM - The ninth AGM will be held at 2:30pm on Sunday 30 January 2011, at Old School, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9DT. All members are most welcome, and should have received an email invitation.

6 January 2011 - New Ethical Gifts Pages - Please have a look at our newly updated gifts pages. The original gifts page now forms an introduction to Pageant's Ethical Gifts Scheme.  There is now a complete list of gifts on its own page, with a new layout, which we hope will make it easier for you to choose your ethical gift.

3 January 2011 - Happy New Year from Wandifa - Wandifa Saidykhan, Pageant's agent in The Gambia, wishes to all Pageant members happiness and good health for 2011. (more details)

News Archive October - December 2010

16 December 2010 - Defeating Malaria - The World Health Organisation's World Malaria Report for 2010 reveals encouraging progress in the fight against malaria, but warns that strenuous efforts are required to achieve the target of eliminating malaria in Africa by 2015. In The Gambia, the National Malaria Control Programme has achieved impressive progress in reducing infection and deaths from malaria.  (more details)

9 December 2010 - New tiled floors at Sheik Hatab Nursery School - Pageant has paid for new tiled floors throughout the school, at a cost of 1400, with 545 of this donated by Pageant member Andrew Rattray in memory of his brother. (more info & photos)

1 December 2010 - Baby Girl for Bakary and Mariama - Bakary Gitteh, headmaster of Bakalar School, has sent us the wonderful news that his wife Mariama gave birth to a baby girl, named Oumie, last week. Oumie is a sister to Fatoumatta, Nyima and Pippa. I'm sure that all our readers will join in sending their best wishes to the Gitteh family.

27 November 2010 - Virgin Charity Credit Card - Virgin's new credit card allows you to donate your cashback to your chosen charity. (more details)

26 October 2010 - Teaching student raises money for Gunjur nursery Nicola Biles, a teaching student at the University of Cumbria, organised a Moonlit Fancy Dress Sponsored 10 mile Walk, raising almost 500 for Aj Sherimang Nursery School in Gunjur. (more details)

13 October 2010 - Container Items for Jarreng - Some of the contents from the latest container were for the upcountry village of Jarreng. Our agent Yankuba and driver Abdoulie undertook delivery of these items. Yankuba sent us a message, which we think we should share with you all. (see details)

10 October 2010 - 1000 Donation We are pleased to announce a donation of 1000 to Pageant's Emergency Sponsorship Fund. (see details of our Sponsorship Programme) Our grateful thanks to the generous donor, who prefers that his name is not published.

8 October 2010 - Container Unloaded Linda Murgatroyd reports from The Gambia that our container was unloaded on 6 October. Wandifa and his team all worked very hard and all went well. Unfortunately they didn't have time to take photos. The two additional pallets of furniture were not available at the time, so these will be unloaded later.

7 October 2010 - Hilary Emery Nursery School Photos Kira Dalton has sent us some photos showing the children enjoying their splendid new facilities at the Hilary Emery Nursery School. (more details)

1 October 2010 - Container Arrives The Banjul Port Authority has just told us that our latest container has arrived safely. (see details)

1 October 2010 - Bananas We have photos of some banana plants at Sheik Hatab Memorial Nursery School (see photos)

News Archive July - September 2010

11 September 2010 - New Nursery School Opens - JTT Nursery School has reopened in its brand new buildings, and has been renamed the Hilary Emery School. See our new page for more details. We will shortly be bringing you more news and photos.

27 August 2010 - Packing the container - The Southwater school furniture, together with more furniture we have collected over several months, and many items of sports kit and other clothing have been packed into a 3/4 size container, which is now on its way to The Gambia. (more details)

12 August 2010 - Classroom furniture from Southwater Junior School - Pageant has just collected 122 classroom tables and 431 chairs from Southwater Junior School. These will form part of the next container load to be sent to The Gambia, which we will be packing on Friday 27 August. (more details)

1 August 2010 - New leg for Modou Lamin - In May 2010 Pageant launched an appeal to provide Modou Lamin with a new prosthetic leg, with a target of 700. We are pleased to announce that your generosity has exceeded our expectations, with a total of 868 raised. We have closed our appeal for the time being, though we might re-open it as Modou Lamin grows and needs further prosthetic treatment. We continue to use Modou Lamin's page to keep you updated on his progress.

25 July 2010 - Pageant's summer party (more details)

News Archive April - June 2010

11 June - JTT Nursery School - the very last photos as the new buildings are completed. (more details)

14 May 2010 - New Library at Siffoe Senior Seconday School - see photos

12 May 2010 - New kitchen at Sheik Hatab Memorial Nursery School - see photos

10 May 2010 - New leg for Modou Lamin - Pageant launches an appeal to raise 700 to provide Modou Lamin with a prosthetic leg. (more details)

5 May 2010 - JTT Nursery School building progress - Work on the new school is progressing very quickly with all the walls completed up to roof level. The new buildings will almost certainly be ready for use for the new school year this autumn. (more details)

27 April 2010 - Donation of Science Kit - Technology Supplies Ltd has given Pageant a truly amazing  13,000 worth of science kit for Gambian schools (more details)

13 April 2010 - JTT Nursery School - The school hopes to move from its current cramped premises to new buildings on a new site, with funding mainly provided by the The African Oyster Trust.  Pageant member Aris Harrison-Price is sponsoring a university course for teachers at this school. (more details)

6 April 2010 - Pencil collection at Westdene Primary School - pupils at this Brighton school have collected 2800 pencils, crayons etc. for children at two schools in The Gambia. (more details)

News Archive January - March 2010

5 March 2010 - Another son for Wandifa - Pageant's main agent, Wandifa Saidykhan, and his wife Mariama are the proud parents of a second son, Ebrima Ian, born on 21 February 2010. (more details)

23 February 2010 - Microscopy Workshops - The Pageant team have nearly completed the workshops, and we have updates from Kathy Groves on our News Blog, with an edited version on this page.

2 February 2010 - Microscopy Workshops - The Pageant team will shortly leave for The Gambia, taking with them virtually all of the equipment for the workshops. (more details)

2 January 2010 - Microscopy Workshops - Two more suppliers Edulab and Northern Geological Supplies are supporting these workshops.  (more details)

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