The gift of a future

20121012- Trish Douglas. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography. 'No use without payment.
20121012- Trish Douglas. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography. 'No use without payment.

STAFF at the George Hotel have rallied round to help blind pupils at an African school and improve their chances of a more fulfilling life in the future.

A race night has been organised at the hotel for next Friday, October 26, to raise help buy braille machines for children in the city of Jinja, Uganda, after hotel owner Trish Douglas visited their school to see the charity Sightsavers at work.

The visit in March was part of a tour of some of the charity’s projects in Uganda which are being backed by Inner Wheel clubs across the UK. Inner Wheel is this year supporting Sightsavers as its adopted charity which Mrs Douglas nominated as chairwoman of the organisation’s Great Britain and Ireland association overseas service committee.

Staff members Colin Burnett and Tracy Park came up with the idea of the race night, the proceeds of which will go towards supporting the youngsters.

Mrs Douglas said: “There are 850 children in the school and just 15 teachers, and 20 of the children are blind and live there all year round. The school looks after them because their families think they’re no use to them; if they go home they’re told to leave and ignored because the can’t fetch water, tend to the vegetable plot and are regarded as just another mouth to feed.

“I felt there was a great need to sent out braille machines via Sightsavers as they just have three at the moment. Inner Wheel has purchased one but we’re hoping to better that by raising enough money to send over more.”

Mrs Douglas added that the machines, which cost £290 each, will help to improve the children’s chances of a better quality of life in the future.

She said: “To get them on an employment ladder will be an incredibly difficult thing to do and I just felt it was so important to help them in whichever way we could.”

The race night will begin at 6.30 for 7pm in the hotel’s Legends Suite and entry will cost £3 which includes a stovie supper. There will also be a raffle, quiz and a chance to find out more about the charity’s work.