African Adventures off and running

West Ham United Community Sports Trust* took their first steps en route to next May's African Adventures in Kenya, as the Boleyn Ground played host to Monday's launch presentation.

African Adventures UK Development Manager Dan Mew and Head of the Community Sports Trust Joe Lyons set out the exciting plans, with the trip now little more than seven months away.

First and foremost, this unique charity venture invites fans to enrol on a spectacular ten-day trip to south-west Kenya, where there are multiple projects to get involved in.

Additionally, part of the fundraising effort is in aid of the Community Sports Trust, meaning the trip will also support east London and Essex communities, as well as those most in need in Africa. Encouraged by plenty of interest, Mew was keen to remind supporters that it is by no means too late to get involved.

He told "While we're flexible with dates, the airlines, sadly, are less so, which gives us about four weeks from here for those interested to confirm places.

"Please don't feel the opportunity has passed you by. We'd love to hear from you and will support you every step of the way, particularly when it comes to fundraising. We have a list of tried, tested and successful fundraising ideas that we're more than happy to share.

"We see fundraising as a key part of this process. It is an opportunity to be creative in a fun and inclusive way, while spreading awareness of the issues that you will be faced with in Kenya and the work done by the Trust. It is something we always enjoy helping with and in which we are glad and grateful to be a part."

Meanwhile, with interested parties keen to learn more, Mew explained the three key areas of prospective volunteer work.

Supporters can, firstly, work as teaching assistants for the duration of their stay, lending a hand in English, maths, music and art lessons. Working with children aged between four and 15, volunteers need not have any relevant qualifications, just the enthusiasm to help.

Community work with children is a similarly appealing option, with the chance to play games, prepare and serve meals, read stories and even make home visits on the agenda.

Alternatively, there is an opportunity to support community building projects, helping to build and renovate classrooms, kitchens and school assembly halls.

For those of a sporting inclination, you can also get involved in football and/or multi-sports coaching with primary school children, young men's teams and adult teams. This, however, tends to be an optional extra, in addition to one of the three core schemes.

With eight other football clubs on board this season, Mew called on fans to see the merit in this well-established enterprise.

He continued: "You have the chance to be part of a group of fans working together to apply your skills and passion where they are needed most, while learning a great deal about yourself and a truly wonderful country.

"Hammers fans have a rare and precious chance to positively engage with upward of 1,000 children who live in extreme poverty.

"That the trip will also be supporting local communities and the work done by the West Ham United Community Sports Trust makes it all the more worthwhile."

Anybody interested in finding out more about this exciting opportunity can download this brochure and are asked to contact James Quayle on [email protected] or call 023 8178 0957 to confirm your interest or attendance.

You can also check out African Adventures' YouTube channel by following the link here.

*West Ham United Community Sports Trust serves the heart of east London through its inclusive community engagement programmes in sports and education. The Trust plays a key role in West Ham helping to deliver the Olympic Legacy ahead of the Club's move to the Olympic Stadium, by working in the Olympic Boroughs and in the wider community. The Trust is committed to the use of sporting activities and the West Ham brand as a motivational tool to encourage participation and social and community cohesion, and is acknowledged nationally and internationally as a leader and best practice model for community development.