Academy staff cycle for Africa

A group of West Ham United Academy staff have raised nearly £1,000 for a charity that provides schools, water, power and other services to people in the African country of Malawi.

Led by Assistant Academy Director Paul Heffer, whose family sponsor a Malawian child, a group of ten cyclists rode 30 miles up and down Southend seafront to raise funds for the Fisherman's Rest Community Trust.

Academy driver Dennis Lepine, Academy administrator Trevor Lewin, Under-18s coach Nick Haycock, development co-ordinator Jim Hampshire, foundation phase goalkeeper coach Billy Lepine, lead foundation phase coach Danny Searle, assistant Under-10s coach Allan King, Academy kit manager Tony Falco and assistant youth development phase coach Mark Phillips and friends hopped into the saddle.

Heffer said: "On speaking to the Trust, we have been told the money that has been raised will help to fund the building of two new classrooms in a new infants' school that will save the children a 40-minute walk each way to and from school every day.

"Two members of the Academy staff are hoping to visit the project at their own expense next summer to see how things are coming along."

Fisherman's Rest has participated in a number of schemes, providing millions of litres of fresh water to a neighbouring village. Other local villages have been assisted with the provision of fresh water.

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