This year, under the leadership of Tessa Duncan, 11 students have joined a group of supporters to help raise funds and awareness of the charity founded by a former student, Dan Eley. Dan was a volunteer charity work in the most dangerous and impoverished areas of Latin America before he broke his neck in a freak swimming accident in the Amazon, 5 years ago.
Dan now lives in Godalming and has used his time of inactivity (he is paralysed from the shoulders down) to fulfil a long-held dream to found his own effective charity to give skills and encouragement to disadvantaged young people so that they can help themselves out of poverty.
The Dan Eley Foundation has formed strong links with Godalming College and already two former students have gone over to Colombia to help out with the partner charity there. So far Dan's work has enabled 120 impoverished young people from the slums of Cali, in Colombia, to train in IT book-keeping. The scheme also finds work placements and the majority of its graduates are now in full-time, white-collar employment.
The foundation recognises that there is poverty in our own "rich" county of Surrey and Dan raises funds to enable disadvantaged local youngsters develop their skills and talents.
At a recent Dan Eley Foundation quiz a team of Friends of Dan (FODs) from Godalming College proved to be the backbone of the event. Without their help the foundation could not have managed to make the evening such a success. The Mayor of Godalming, Liz Wheatley, complimented the students on their hard work and initiative and it is because of them that over £4,000 was raised to help give apprenticeship bursaries to local youngsters.
Friends of Dan also hold monthly cake sales at the College and, to date, over £400 has been raised by their efforts. Their work for the charity will go towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards. Thank you the FODs!
In addition to this, the College Rag Week raised over £1,000 towards the work of the foundation and the Trustees would like to convey their very grateful thanks to Praise Nyenge and all students who gave their time and enthusiasm to help this fledgling charity.
Find out about the Dan eley Foundation at www.daneleyfoundation.org