Hackney police cadets revamp Gambian village school and medical room on a ‘life-changing’ trip

PUBLISHED: 14:22 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:23 06 March 2018

The six cadets who raised £400 each to make the trip to Gambia

The six cadets who raised £400 each to make the trip to Gambia


Six police cadets have been on a trip of a lifetime to the Gambia, where they revamped a dilapidated medical room and classroom with the money they raised.

The money the cadets raised went towards employing local tailors to make 100 green and white school uniforms for the villagers The money the cadets raised went towards employing local tailors to make 100 green and white school uniforms for the villagers

Organisers Jill Dimartino and Pc Tom Morris noticed that the rooms were in an “appalling” state on the last annual two-week trip, and decided to get the group of six 15-17 year olds to give them an overhaul this time around.

They also wanted to “give the local economy a boost” by buying material at the market and employing local tailors to make 100 school uniforms. The work was funded with £2,400 raised by the group through sponsored silences and cake sales.

Cadet manager Ms Dimartino said: “For our cadets it was absolutely life changing. They are used to everything being on tap, and this school has no electricity. They could see something happening before their eyes. For them it was a real, “We’ve done that. We painted that room.” It was a huge learning curve.”

A third of the population in the West African country lives below the poverty line - surviving on just $1.25 a day.

The cadets meet on Mondays at St Pauls Church in Stoke Newington Road and Wednesdays at Forest Road youth hub in Dalston during term time.

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