Charity Support

Leprosy Mission

Eddie Askew books and the TLM range of gift books are popular sellers in the shop. In the autumn we also sell their range of Christmas card packs, and often sell out.

In addition to this, customers bring in stamps which Vicky posts to TLM. I asked her how many she had sent off so far and she told me it amounted to 41,750. And yes, she counts them all before posting!

Vicky feels that this is a simple way to help such a worthwhile charity and our customers agree.

Stamps are sold by TLM to collectors and at stamp fair. In 2015, TLM raised £136,153.34 from this to help those affected by leprosy.

Charity donations

Each year, we send about £100 each to two projects with local Bedford connections, one in Bangladesh and the other in Sierra Leone. The money comes from a percentage of sales of our second-hand books as well as change put in our charity pot by customers.

Schools in Bangladesh

Half of it goes to two small schools in Dhaka, sponsored and visited regularly by our friends Phil and Jenny Bushell. One school is in the midst of a collection of about 50 tin nuts squashed onto a small area of land awaiting development. 

There is a morning class with one set of about 25 children and another in the same little room in the afternoon. Both are mixed ability, going from kindergarten to class 2. A similar school for about 15 children meets in the afternoon in a nearby church building.

The children get their class books, note-books and pencils and often a morning snack. It gives them a foundation which Phil and Jenny hope will motivate the parents to ensure their children’s education continues to a higher level.

Schools in Sierra Leone

The other half of our donation goes to schools in the mountain region of this country and ‘up country’ in Simbec. Over the last ten years a group called Maranatha, supported by people like Doug McWilliam from Bedford, has built seven schools with a total attendance of over 3,500 children.

Many of the schools are built of zinc and local wood, with children spilling out of the buildings into the nearby fields to attend lessons. The Government of Sierra Leone has agreed to fund teachers’ pay and supplied curriculum material, which has been an encouragement to Pastor Theo who heads up the work. There is, though, a four year wait for new schools allocated government funding.
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