Would you like to buy some homemade cakes, crafts, cards and water colours, ready for Christmas? Fancy a nice cup of tea, coffee, wine or juice accompanied by cakes and nibbles? Plus of course a brilliant raffle and a quiz! All of this for a cost of just £3!
Lynda Barber, the Folio (Friends of Library in Olney) Chairperson has kindly offered to hold a “drop in” event at her house, 104 High Street, Olney, in aid of the Olney-Newton Link.
A wonderful opportunity for a pre-Christmas get-together or Xmas purchases. Do come along!
We have recently had a request from our friend Brima James Kabia in Newton. He would like to set up a dressmakers/tailoring business for young people who have missed out on education. He had asked for manual sewing machines and an electric one plus a small generator. We are delighted to say that a charity based in Chesham – ‘Workaid’ – has supplied us with an electric sewing machine plus an assortment of accessories all free of charge (see photograph). So all the Olney Newton Link need to do is pay shipping costs. The manual machines can be purchased in Sierra Leone.
We are looking forward to receiving photos of the workshop in due course – we know it will be a very successful little business and are looking forward to watching it develop.
*Workaid tackle poverty by supplying disadvantaged people with the tools they need to acquire practical skills and become self supporting.
Fun for all the family at the Youth Club in Olney. Join us for pumpkin carving, leaf rubbing, icing biscuits, bobbing for apples, story time, etc. A brilliant time can be had by all!
This is aimed at families with children, looking for something to do during half term holidays. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are 5 with children under 3 free. The price will includes activities and hot dogs. All funds raised are in aid of the Olney Newton Link Water Well appeal.
Event to be held at the Olney Youth Centre, East Street, Olney. Tickets can be obtained from CT Wilson & Son (84 High Street, Olney) and the Phonebox Magazine (Stanley Court, Olney) or by callingRachel 711751/ Sue
712540/ Anne 711196.
Feeling clever!? Show your neighbours how clever you are at our quiz night! A wonderful hot supper and soft drinks will be included. Teams of 4 preferred (6 maximum).
The night will be held at the Olney Centre,High St, Olney MK46 4EF. Tickets 8.50 per person including supper and a soft drink. Tickets are available from the Phonebox or
CT Wilson. Enquiries ring: 01234 711196 or 711751
Preschool’s end of term ceremony
We are really pleased to say that all of the hard work has paid off! The Preschool, which we helped to set up in response to the Ebola crisis which killed so many, is now up and running and doing really well.
Set up to look after young orphaned children whilst carers worked, the Preschool has just celebrated it’s first end of term ceremony. We’re told that the children read and sang, prizes were awarded and speeches made. A great success!
The photograpPhotos show (from left to right, rows 1 and 2):
1. Teacher and pupil reading rhymes, with Val King the Chair of the Newton Committee in the background;
2. Prize giving
3. Children reciting rhymes;
4. Mabinty giving welcome address;
5. Speech from Councillor;
6. Pupil reciting a rhyme;
7. Bakkar, secretary of the Newton Committee and Principal of the Institute, giving a vote of thanks;
8. Cross Section of parents and carers.
All the old favourites! Come and join the Bozeat Windmill singers as they sing classic tunes such as ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘Shall we dance’ and ‘Maria’. A mixed voice choir with a wide repertoire of popular, musical and light entertainment which will really cheer you up. Event to be held at The Cowper Memorial URC, High Street, Olney. Tickets with proceeds in aid of the Olney Newton Link. Collect them from CT Wilson, The Phonebox or telephone 01234 711196, 01234 712540 or 01234 713745. Refreshments available.
Excellent news from Newton today, 26th January 2017. At last the end is in sight for the completion of the Newton Preschool. Registration has begun and this is a photograph of some of the children who will attend. We hope to shortly have photographs of the opening day.
The project was proposed in the autumn of 2014 but became more urgent as the Ebola crisis took hold. The Newton Committee had perceived a need for a Preschool in order to enable young women, especially those who have taken on the care of Ebola orphans, to work and thereby supplement the family income. To date we have sent £25,000 and a carton of toys and other ‘educational ‘ materials. We have also provided a water well at a cost of approximately £3000, which will serve both the preschool and the Olney Institute next door.
Inflation in Sierra Leone is currently running at about 10%. At the beginning of December the SL government raised the cost of fuel by a whopping 40%, from 4300Leones/litre to 6000Leones /litre thereby sending up the cost of most commodities. The treasurer, Mabinty Sesay, sends us accounts several times a year so that we know what they are buying with the money we send.
What does the Newton Committee spend the money on?
These are photos of the team hard at work building the new school.
So how has the money been spent? Basically on a standard set of materials that any builder would recognise. Initially foundations must be dug and then building blocks made. These are made of concrete, a longer lasting material than the mud blocks used for local housing. Cement has to be imported and the cost varies considerably. Sand is extracted from the local beaches, a practice much criticised by environmentalists. We were intrigued to hear that the Newton committee had decided to include extra strengthening of the walls so that a second storey could be added at some future date. Land is something else that is becoming more expensive on an almost daily basis.
Roofing materials are then required. The most durable material is zinc, again this has to be imported and the price varies considerably. Doors and windows need to be made of metal to prevent termite damage, again all must be imported.
Other materials purchased are what anyone needs for building: nails, boards, iron rods, plaster, paint etc. and of course, payment to the workmen. The average pay is approximately £1/hour. There is no machinery such as a JCB or concrete mixer, everything has to be done by hand.
Why does the cost of projects like this rise?
Firstly, we ask for an estimate of cost before we undertake a project BUT we have learned from experience that these are very unreliable. The way business is done in Third World Countries is a far cry from UK practices. Builders, architects, plumbers etc. are self-taught and the idea of tendering for a job such as building a school is not understood. This also means they cannot always see in advance what is likely to be needed.
Secondly a small charity like ours cannot raise money quickly, we can only send money as we get it. As there are no credit facilities available in Sierra Leone the Newton committee can only purchase materials as the money comes in. In the meantime, the costs have risen.
Thirdly we are at the mercy of the exchange rate. An increase in the rate is good news in one way as we get more Leones for our £ BUT the cost of imported materials rises too.
A remarkable achievement?
Against this backdrop, plus many more problems such as heavy rains, the Newton Committee and Mabinty in particular have succeeded in building a preschool for at least 100 disadvantaged children. A remarkable achievement. I hope you agree and will continue to support the work of the Olney-Newton Link.
Join us for pancakes!
Pancake racing is World famous – a tradition since the C15th – and Olney does it in style! The first pancake race starts at 11.55am.
Come and join us at our stall in the town centre and enjoy the excitement of Shrove Tuesday. Easter Eggs and other exciting things to win.
Win money on the horses!
SORRY – THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Who said it gets boring after Christmas?! The Carlton House Club in Olney will be hosting a great night out where you can support the Olney Newton Link whilst hopefully winning a few pennies yourself. Place your bets and watch the races on screen – the excitement is tangible! £7.50 per person including a sausage and chip supper. Bar available.
The first race starts at 7.30pm. Tickets available from the Carlton House Club, 38 High Street, Olney. Tikcets also available from CT Wilson and the Phonebox. Enquiries tel: 01234 711196, 712540 & 711751
Click here for more details
Love Carol singing?
Join your Olney neighbors in singing on every day of the 24 days of advent (or at least sing on some of them!) Organised by the Churches of Olney, join us in singing Carols at the door of the following venues. The plan is to sing for about ten minutes at each venue and raise funds for local charities including the Olney Newton Link.