Sisters heading to Gambia organise fundraising frock event

Daily Echo: Madeline and Eleanor Grieves who are heading to Gambia on a charity project. Madeline and Eleanor Grieves who are heading to Gambia on a charity project.

They’re planning to make a difference, and they want your old clothes. Southampton sisters Eleanor and Madeleine Grieves are getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. The teenagers are preparing for a two-week visit to Gambia in West Africa with their Explorer group as part of project Kaira Konko.

To help fund the project, which helps support and develop the Gambian community, the Hounsdown School pupils are throwing a frock swap event. Along with 30 other Scouts and Explorers, Eleanor, 16 and Madeleine, 13, of Bartley, will be helping to rebuild nurseries and schools, will be teaching young, local Scouts and will help deliver vital medical supplies to hospitals.

Eleanor has already been to Gambia before on a previous Scout visit and cannot wait to return.

She said: “It’s amazing. Once you’re out there you really realise how much of a difference we can make. I know it sounds so clichéd but it really is a life-changing experience. They’re all so appreciative – even for an empty two litre bottle!

“When you’re out there it’s like being a part of the family because they’re so welcoming.

“We did the frock swap last year and it was really fun. It’s a great way to shop for nothing, really.”

It will be Madeleine’s first time in Gambia and she is one of the youngest making the journey.

She said: “I’m really nervous but also excited. I’m going for the experience and to see how much of a difference I can make.”

The sisters’ frock swap will be held at Copythorne Scout Hut on Romsey Road. Tickets cost £5 and everyone is invited to go along and swap their unwanted clothes and accessories at 7pm on Saturday, February 22 as well as enjoy wine and nibbles. To book tickets call the girls’ mother Jane on 07810 626596.

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