Ambassador Sean Allerton, Pushes Again!

A huge thank you to our Ambassador Sean Allerton, who has recently ‘pushed’ yet more miles in his wheelchair, to raise money for Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope

A huge thank you to our Ambassador Sean Allerton, who has recently ‘pushed’ yet more miles in his wheelchair, to raise money for Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope, and for the three RAF charities he also supports.  Since losing the use of his hands and legs over twenty years ago whilst in Service with RAF in Cyprus, in a motorcycle crash, Sean has proven himself to be a true champion of people who live with disabilities; always encouraging others, and being grateful for what he has and what he can do.  We too are immensely grateful to Sean for the example he is to all of us – and of course for the funds he has raised!  THANK YOU SEAN.  So, here he is – in September, scaling the roof of the O2 Arena, accompanied by ELoH Trustees Sarah Hope and Victoria Bacon, and members of his ‘RAF Family’.  It was an amazing day – a clear blue sky giving us an amazing view of London – after which we all went to Ten Downing Street for a special visit, in recognition of the Points of Light Award Sean received from the Prime Minister last year (and Sarah and I received in 2015.)And here is Sean again, at his latest ‘Push’ at RAF College Cranwell, in Lincolnshire; also with Sarah and Victoria and Pollyanna Hope; this time with the Scottish Band ‘The Proclaimers’ too, whose song “If I Could Walk 500 Miles”, released in 1987, was the inspiration behind Sean’s idea to push for charity, in the way that he does.So far, Sean has raised over £38,000 and has pushed more than 2000 miles.  

Report from Liberia – September 2019

Looking towards the Equator, and across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, Liberia is beautiful, vibrant country.  It is bursting with potential prosperity; but sadly, for the moment, the vast majority of the population (some five million people) are locked in a cycle of poverty.  The country is trapped by the difficulties of its recent past – two civil wars, and the horror of the Ebola epidemic between 2014 and 2015.

Liberia has land borders with Guinea, the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone;  countries equally poor, but with pockets of wealth too that if were just exploited, in the best possible way, could turn these countries around;  instead of living with very little, their people would live with very much.  However, for now, all of these African countries, and many others besides, are impoverished and under-developed.  Millions of African people walk miles to find and transport water, are  under-nourished, receive medical treatment when needed only in exceptional circumstances, sleep under canvas or leaky corrugated iron rooves, educate their children at enormous cost and sacrifice;  and often only work if they are lucky. 

So we, in the developed world, need to share what we have with these people; in doing so, enabling them to help themselves.    And Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope plays a very special role in this; because child amputees are, undoubtedly, some of the most disadvantaged of the disadvantaged, the help we give them is absolutely vital – not only for the children as individuals, but because of what these individuals can give to their society, if we give them what they need to be part of society.  

Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope has recently begun working with a new partnership in Liberia; Williette Safehouse which is a Liberian disability organisation, established three years ago by one of the country’s few philanthropists, Samuel Stryker.  Samuel Stryker has made his money over the years running a successful funeral business;  and chose to devote much of his profits and his time to reaching out to the disabled community, a group not only marginalised – in his words –  by the “disability of their bodies but unfortunately by the world.”  Named after his mother Williette and now run by his daughter Rita, their mission is clear – to “enrich the lives of future generations of Liberians who live with disability.”

I went to Liberia at the end of September with fellow Trustee Bronwen Hinton, to see how the partnership is developing, and meet the children we are helping, together. We were moved and encouraged by all that we saw; the devotion and conscientious of the staff of Williette Safehouse was apparent in all our meetings.  Three out of nine of our beneficiaries have received surgery; bone-trimming operations which in this country are a challenge to organise because doctors and surgeons are terribly over-worked and booked up.  It was, therefore, heartening to know these surgeries had happened because a bone protruding through a residual limb is very dangerous for amputees, leading to possible infection. 

Below are some photographs of the children; all of whom live in and near Monrovia, the capital, along muddy, bumpy tracks, often miles into the rural out-skirts; but, that said, no matter how far from the centre we seemed to get, people were everywhere – and no matter how poor, or apparently long suffering, smiles abounded and a joy seemed to radiate. 

The limbs we provide for the children are made at a clinic called DOORIS; a fairly ramshackle building in a rough part of the town – but in no way am I discrediting it because the staff, Dooris and Morris – achieve amazing results.  With our support; they obtain materials for the prosthetic legs from Togo and we provide the feet; manufactured at a clinic in Switzerland. 

It is a complex process, but vital and completely life-changing for our children – and we don’t stop there!  We fund their education too; books, uniform, fees and transport costs – and counselling support – our aim is to give them the same opportunities as their friends; and make their difficult lives so much happier.

Williette is run by Rita Stryker, who manages her team of project workers Jacob, Richard and Joseph wonderfully.  Please enjoy the photographs below of some of our beneficiaries: 

Yatta, 14, and is waiting for two below-the-knee prosthetic legs:

Yatta
This is Yatta

Abanigo and Moses, both 15, and pictured here at the boarding school they are attending.  Both have been cared for and measured for prostheses at the DOORIS clinic – and will receive their legs soon!

Abanigo and Moses

Geronimo, 16, also waiting for his first prosthesis.  Longing to join an amputee football team … pictured here with his family:

Germonimo
Germonimo

Thorpe House School News

Thorpe House School fundraising

Thank you so very much to the children, staff and families of Thorpe House School in Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire, for ALL you are doing!

Supported and encouraged by our Ambassador, Kathryn Beevor, the school held a charity day on Friday 18th October; during which the children were allowed to come to school in their own clothes, had a ‘buttie’ sale at breaktime and donated their lunch money to ELoH, too. But the highlight of the day was teacher Mrs Mac who had her hair cut, very short and dyed PINK! Thank you so very much.

Astan Hamid ELOH Fundraising However, there is more! Please take a moment to click on this link, which takes you to the sponsorship page of a Year 5 Thorpe House student, Astan Hamid; who is soon to set sail across the Atlantic Ocean, with his father – and hoping to raise about £5,000 for ELoH for doing so. The intrepid pair’s 3,000 mile voyage is expected to take three weeks; beginning in the Gran Canaries, and ending in St Lucia. Thank you both very much – we wish you well! www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/astansatlanticadventure