Camilla Al Fayed met with Hackney Cadets at New Scotland Yard yesterday to present them with a cheque from the AlFayed Charitable Foundation. The cadets are raising money to fund a visit to The Gambia where they intend to teach local children – many of whom walk up to 20 miles each day to get to school – basic bike maintenance skills to help keep their bicycles roadworthy. They hope that this will save the children hours of tireless walking every day.
Hackney Police launched the ‘Bikes 2 Gambia’ project using unclaimed and scrap bicycles seized by the Metropolitan Police. Their young cadets – all volunteers aged between 14-19 years – have been trained in bicycle care, and use their skills to fix and refurbish the bikes.
Re-constructed bikes have already been sent over to The Gambia as part of the project, and in April 2012, when the cadets’ visit is planned, they also hope to build a bike shelter to keep the bicycles safe.
“The Foundation is very pleased to be part of this wonderful cause. Not only do the Cadets see first-hand the rewarding results of their hard work, but they will receive immense personal satisfaction knowing they skills they have acquired will greatly benefit children in The Gambia” – Camilla Al Fayed.
“Camilla’s generous offer to match the funds raised by Hackney cadets will make all the difference,” said Jill DiMartino, Hackney Volunteer Police Cadet Manager. “This now brings our goal of going to The Gambia a more realistic prospect and with the cadets’ continued fundraising efforts – Gambia here we come!”