Accompanied by Inspector Jeff Bull and Cadet Manager Jill Dimartino, five Hackney Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) set off on a charity trip to Gambia in West Africa on Friday March 1st, where they spent 13 nights. Their camp base was in a village called Kartong, near the capital, Banjul.
PC Tim Beaumont, Cadet Co-coordinator, said: “I collected two bleary eyed leaders and drove them to the airport and throughout the journey they were not quite their chirpy selves. The excitement began at Gatwick when they located their fellow explorers.”
The trip was organised in conjunction with Jole Rider, a charity supporting the bike4Africa programme with a mission to change lives through education. For many impoverished African children who live in remote communities, the only way they can get to school is to walk a very long way to their school. In searing heat, their journey to education on foot is a daily epic mission and having a bicycle makes a world of difference for these children and for their families and communities too. Money was raised for the trip by the cadets through a variety of ways, including a 14 mile run and jumble sales.
One of their first tasks was to empty out two buildings, to allow them to paint and transform them into a bike station. Some of the highlights to the Gambia, was visiting an Iman, meeting a leader for the women and attending a naming ceremony of a child.
Having made new friends, the cadets returned to London on 14th March with a different out look and bone tired after a 24 hour flight delay.