Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fundraising Concert - Update

Further details for the charity concert at Weston Rugby Club on 24 November 2012

The Headline band will be :

The Ketones

Support will be provided by

A link to their Youtube page can be found here (they are also on Facebook)

There will be a Hog Roast and other entertainment as well

Tickets cost £6 a person or £16 a family - 2 Adults + 2 Childen under 16

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

On the roadside

Rural West Bengal

Much of India is still very rural indeed, however with the big cities expanding and the cost of living going up (and hence basic commodities getting more expensive), migration from the villages to the cities is a major feature of modern India.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Kolkata Slums

The slums of Kolkata can be divided into three groups: the older ones, (up to 150 years old), in the heart of the city, are associated with early urbanisation.

The second group dates from the 1940s and 1950s and emerged as an outcome of industrialisation-based rural–urban migration, locating themselves around industrial sites and near infra-structural arteries.

The third group came into being after the independence of India and took vacant urban lands and areas along roads, canals and on marginal lands.

In 2001, 1.5 million people, (one third of Kolkata’s population), lived in slums.

Bustees : These slums are recognised by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation on the basis of land title. Since 1980, they have been taken over for letting/lease to slum dwellers.

Non-Registered dwellings : these comprise of  slums on the land encroaching settlements.

The bustee-type generally has some form of secure tenure or ownership rights based on land rent or lease, with structures built by the slum dwellers, or house rental/lease of structures built by third parties.

It is envisaged that the number of urban poor will increase considerably in the near future due to natural growth and in-migration.

Challenges for India

Here are a few facts ...

40 % of the population of India is under 18 - This is the worlds largest population of children

Less than 50% of these children go to school

95 out of every 1000 children born in India do not live to see their fifth birthday

58% of children under the age of two years are incompletely immunised

23 % of babies born are underweight at birth - and more than 50% of India's children are malnourished

Amongst married women in India today 75% were under age at the time they got married

Monday, 19 March 2012

An enjoyable and useful two weeks

I have just returned from two weeks in Kolkata. I have been teaching Health Promotion and First Aid to the children at Future Hope  (Further details will be published shortly).

I also used the free time available to me to gather lots of photographic material to demonstrate exactly what some of the problems are for Slum dwelling and Street living children (and their families).

I have published the two pictures below as a taster - More to follow

Monday, 5 March 2012

Thank you to all who have donated sports kit

A big thank you to all who have donated sports kit for me to take out to Future Hope - I have used every KG of Emirates allowance !

I leave for India tonight (Please note this is a self funded trip - All of the charity money raised from my challenge goes directly to Future Hope to provide for the children there).

I am going to be spending the next two weeks teaching at the school and doing some travel to complete an ongoing photo project on Indian Rural Poverty.

Sarah Outen supports Future Hope

Sarah Outen, who is currently travelling round the world, single handed (by bike, canoe and rowing boat), has shown her support for Future Hope  ... She even has one of the schools training shirts with her on her round the world trip.

Sarah is very supportive of education and is a fantastic ambassador for promoting global issues.

She has sent an autographed copy of her recent book to the school in Kolkata - and as in many other schools around the world some of the children there are tracking her amazing journey on her blog ...

She has just sent me this message of support :

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for your letter and headsup on your forthcoming challenge. Wow! What an adventure that will be.

It was lovely to read about the positive work that Future Hope is doing and especially warming to read about the critical role that sport plays in fostering all those elements of confidence, trust, esteem, goalsetting etc which get squashed when children are vulnerable.

I wish you all the best in completing the challenge with as happy feet as all those mountains will allow! 

All best from the East,


Sarah, leaving London on her round the world challenge last year

Sarah's message for the children of Future Hope

Sarah is shortly due to leave Japan to row across the Pacific ... Makes climbing a few Welsh mountains pale into insignificance !

Football Kit Donation for Future Hope

I am Club Secretary of Axbridge Saxons JFC, which has established a formal link with Future Hope.
This Press-Statement has been released to local media outlets ...

Saxons youngster’s donation supports international charity work

Axbridge Saxons Junior Football Club have recently purchased a second football strip for the children who go to their linked charity school in India.
The cost of the kit was raised from donations from within the club, and its embroidery was provided by David Parkin and Co. of Cheddar (a local sports and work-wear company).
The kit will be used by the children of Future Hope in Kolkata. Future Hope is a charity run school for street children. Sport is an essential component in the curriculum there, as it helps the pupils to develop teamwork and concentration skills, (many of the children who live and learn in the school there have had no experience of formal education for the first 8-10 years of their lives).
Soccer is rapidly gaining in popularity in India; and the members of Axbridge Saxons youth teams hope that this gift will help the development of the sport within Future Hope.
Link to Future Hope Website:
Axbridge Saxon JFC is an FA Charter Standard Club, which has players from Under 6 through to Under 16 level

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Letter of Support - Colonel John Blashford-Snell

I would like to thank Colonel John Blashford-Snell very much indeed for his letter of support for 'Climb every mountain for Future Hope'

Thank you to Emirates

I would like to thank Emirates very much indeed for supporting this project - Many of my colleagues have donated sports equipment for the children at Future Hope : I am transporting this out to Kolkata next week and Emirates have been very helpful and generous in allowing me extra baggage space to make this possible.