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Smallburgh charity looks to raise £25k after bus destined for Ivory Coast burst into flames on A11

PUBLISHED: 18:30 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 18:31 06 July 2017

Double-decker bus  destroyed in blaze on the A11 near Cambridge. Picture Cambs Fire and Rescue

Double-decker bus destroyed in blaze on the A11 near Cambridge. Picture Cambs Fire and Rescue

Archant

A Smallburgh charity is begging the Norfolk community for support after their prized education bus caught fire on the A11.

Eunice with the bus before it left London to come to Norfolk. Picture: smallburgh2abidjan Eunice with the bus before it left London to come to Norfolk. Picture: smallburgh2abidjan

The red London bus was to be shipped to Africa’s Ivory Coast in November, filled with books, equipment, and kit to help support impoverished children.

Now the charity faces not only needing to buy a new bus, but must also foot an expected £10,000 bill to clear and repair the road damaged in the fire.

Eunice Kokrasset, 34, dreamed of taking education supplies back to her hometown of Abijan and was supported by 20 members of the Smallburgh community who wanted to help her achieve this.

But with tickets booked to visit the African city and deliver the bus in November, the team now faces the mammoth task of raising £25,000 in less than half a year. MORE: Smallburgh landlady devastated as charity bus destined for Africa goes up in flames on A11

Double-decker bus  destroyed in blaze on the A11 near Cambridge. Picture Cambs Fire and Rescue Double-decker bus destroyed in blaze on the A11 near Cambridge. Picture Cambs Fire and Rescue

Pam Bean, secretary of the charity, said: “We were trying to raise £15,000 for a new bus as the first was gifted to us by Jon Smith of Omnif Construction. We also now have to raise funds for the shipping, the ports and the administration.

“Since we started that fundraising we’ve also heard that the cost of removing the rubble and the damage to the road will cost us in excess of another £10,000.”

Mrs Bean works alongside chairman Eunice, and treasurer Eileen Cole, who all who live in Smallburgh.

Mr Smith, who donated the bus, said: “I’m more upset for Eunice, she’d gone to collect it and was very distressed.

Eunice when she took over the Crown pub in Smallburgh. 

Picture: James Bass Eunice when she took over the Crown pub in Smallburgh. Picture: James Bass

“I said to her it’s only money, and that the important thing is nobody was hurt.”

Mrs Bean continued: “The only silver lining is that we were bringing the bus here to fill it with books, so we still have everything that’s been donated so far.

“We’ve all paid for our own flights and accommodation out there, we’re going on November 5 until November 20, we just have to raise the funds for a new bus first.”

Miss Kokrasset was Mrs Wortley when she first moved to Norwich in December 2010, having married George Wortley, who later died, and she was left alone in a strange country.

The charity has now set up a Crowdfunding page to raise money for another bus.

To donate, visit their fundraising page.

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