Our favourite coffee shop, the independent one upstairs at Hatters Row, in Warrington, is about to close. During the past twenty years we have taken coffee (and, too many times, cake!) at least once or twice weekly. We have made friends with many fellow customers and with all the staff. What has this to do with GOES? Well, for at least nineteen of those years a collecting box has stood on a shelf near the entrance, covered in pictures of Gambian schools, children, clinics and damaged buildings. Into the box has gone several hundred pounds, donated by customers and staff, and those donations have gone to help people of all ages, from 2 days old to over 90 years. Children have been educated, mosquito nets have been bought, at least two wells have been dug - the list goes on.
Kind people have willingly given their help to people they may never meet - though we keep encouraging them to visit The Gambia at least once. We know they would be made welcome. So, today, we emptied the box for the last time. It contained £9.31 (and somebody at the next table made that up to £10.00). We made out the last receipt, and added our thanks, on behalf of all our Gambian friends. Tomorrow I'll pay the money into the GOES bank account and, no doubt, very soon it will be transferred by BAYBA to help some person who needs our assistance.
Thanks to all of you who popped your change (and sometimes more) into that little wooden box with pictures on.