A fundraising dinner on the shores of Lake Windermere has marked the official launch of a Cumbrian aid worker’s charity to help young people in Africa.
Over 170 guests attended the gala evening at Low Wood Bay Resort, Hotel and Marina last Saturday to hear about the launch of The Noah Initiative (UK), which has been set up by 25-year-old Elliot Berry from Troutbeck Bridge.
Mr Berry is working with fatherless children and young men in the slum of Kambi Teso in Eldoret in western Kenya. His inaugural event for the new charity was held to raise awareness of their plight and commence fundraising activities in earnest.
The charity dinner featured a Kenyan market stall, a raffle and a silent auction for several highly sought after pieces from local photographers and artists. Other auction items included holiday stays in Cyprus and Coniston, as well as clothes and a pair of custom high heels from Mr Berry’s own fashion label.
The fundraising target for the event proceeds was £10,000 and tickets, donations and the sale and auction of various goods has already exceeded that figure, with about £12,000 already raised. The highest selling individual item at auction was a painting from local artist Julie Ann Scott, which raised just under a thousand pounds.
“I am so grateful to everyone who attended and supported the dinner to mark the launch of The Noah Initiative,” said Mr Berry. “Their generosity has given us a great platform from which to extend our reach, helping us to give many more vulnerable, fatherless young Kenyan boys the skills, education and knowledge they so desperately need.
“With the scholarships and mentoring programmes we are running, we want to give at least 20 more young boys a better future by the end of this year. The charity dinner at Low Wood and the generosity of local people in Cumbria has set us well on the way.”
Mr Berry was inspired to set up the charity having worked as a counsellor and ‘house parent’ in the Open Arms International village in Eldoret. The charity aims to work with local schools and guardians to secure a better education for fatherless, abused or neglected boys.