King’s Lynn journalist joins bid to improve rural school in Africa

After months of fundraising, EDP reporter David Blackmore will today travel out to Namibia to help revamp a remote village school.

The project will see the 24-year-old journalist join a group of volunteers who are flying out to the Tubusis settlement in the Damaraland region of Namibia, to spend 10 days giving Tubusis Primary School a much-needed facelift.

David, who lives in Upwell, near Wisbech, has raised �4,350 to be able to take part in the project, more than half of which goes to bowel cancer research charity the Bobby Moore Fund, which is leading the project.

He said: 'The school consists of eight classrooms plus a library, and although the school buildings are in reasonably good shape structurally, they are in need of general repairs to walls, paint work, doors, ceilings and windows.

'The building that houses the library, however, is in a really bad condition and requires a major revamp including the installation of new floors and proper furniture, the conversion of part of the library into a computer room and the provision of books to stock the library.

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'As well as completing all of this work, there is also scope for the project team to create a football pitch on the school grounds, something we take for granted here.

'I am really looking forward to travelling out to Namibia and hopefully we will make a huge difference to the lives of all the pupils at Tubusis Primary School as well as the surrounding area.'

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One of David's biggest fundraising events saw him hop on a static exercise bike and pedal the equivalent of King's Lynn to Calais on April 14.

He started the 139-mile challenge at 8am in the Vancouver Quarter shopping area in Lynn and finished at 5pm the same day.

There was also a second exercise bike alongside David's so friends and members of the public could show their support.

David said: 'I started out not knowing how I would manage to cycle 50km let alone cover 223km, so I was delighted to cross that finish line and 'reach' Calais.'

David also received financial support from Rotary clubs in King's Lynn, Downham Market and Littleport as well as the Downham Market Lions.

It will be the second international project David has been on, having flown out to South Africa last March with 40 volunteers, which included former professional footballers Luther Blissett and George Parris, to revamp Sandberg Primary School.

He added: 'It was great to spend time getting to know the schoolchildren because these projects, for me, are not just about revamping the schools but having a positive impact on the children and hopefully inspiring them to be whatever they want to be.

'I really feel like these projects are great because you are raising money for two causes. The Bobby Moore Fund does fantastic work in raising money for bowel cancer research so it is great to be able to help them.

'At the same time it is also fantastic to be able to transform a school and give these children the best possible chance of aspiring to be whatever they want to be and hopefully a better future.'

The Bobby Moore Fund was established by Stephanie Moore MBE in partnership with Cancer Research UK in 1993.

It was set up in memory of Stephanie's late husband, footballer Bobby Moore, who died from bowel cancer aged just 51.

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