Youngsters’ virtual 4,000 mile journey to Gambia

24th May 2016

A dozen youngsters from Stafford Grammar School and their teacher pedaled, jogged, rowed and swam nearly four thousand miles on a virtual trip from Staffordshire to West Africa to help a baby in need.

The kind hearted pupils have given up their spare time over the past six months in a mammoth gym and pool challenge to raise cash for the Gunjur Project in Gambia and they have finally crossed the finish line.

Stafford Grammar School teacher, Lynda McConville, joined the 11 and 12-year-old students in raising hundreds of pounds for milk, sanitised water, nappies and vaccinations for an orphaned baby whose mother died during childbirth.

“The Gunjur Project is a charity close to my heart. I spent a month out there during my summer holidays and was able to teach sport and help build a medical centre. I received a message from them saying a mother had passed away giving birth and could I help raise money for the baby. At school every year we complete a form challenge, so I asked the class if they’d be willing to help and I got a terrific response,” said Lynda.

Since November the youngsters have racked up the miles in the school gym and at a local pool at least twice a week on a sponsored virtual journey which has taken them through France, Spain and West Africa. They also pumped iron in an attempt to lift the equivalent weight of an adult African bull elephant.

Twelve-year-old Ross Gibson completed his share of the task early, so decided to help out some of his classmates.

“We split the 3,750 miles evenly between us, but I was happy to do extra at the end. It’s taken us a long time but we stuck at it. It was such a sad thing to happen to the lady, but knowing that the money we raise from our challenge will make a real difference to her baby’s life gave us the determination to keep on going,” said Ross.

“We’ve all tried to go to the gym as much as possible in our free time and it’s been fun. It’s good to do something like this with your friends,” he added.

The Gunjur Project was set up to help improve the lives of people living in a local community in Kajabang and also in Gambia as a whole. Anyone wishing to make a donation can contact project organisers at