Lloyds Gambia Trip - Abi Taylor

At the end of November 2014, 15 Gold DofE participants from Lloyds Banking Group travelled out to The Gambia in West Africa as part of their DofE programmes. For their Volunteering section activity they worked together and raised £5,750 to fund the building of a primary school in the country. As the culmination of their Volunteering section they travelled out to the village of Gunjur in The Gambia in three groups, each staying a week, to help build the school. Each person lived with a different local family, sharing their food and managing without running water or sanitation in the homes, despite electricity reaching the village earlier in the year.

Lloyds volunteer Abi Taylor made this brilliant short film:

Research Paper - MBG & TARUD Partnership

We were approached at the end of last year by Justin Walker who is studying international development at the Open University to ask if he could study the partnership between Marlborough and Gunjur as the research that he has to undertake. Justin was a VSO volunteer in The Gambia (2007-8) attached as an adviser to the Ministry of Education. He went on to be a secondary school Headmaster for three years in a school in Santiago Chile. He has already spent time in Marlborough interviewing a number of people associated with MBG and has recently returned from three weeks in The Gambia talking to a wide range of people there.

Read more: Research Paper - MBG & TARUD Partnership

Lent Lecture 2015 - Baroness Cox review

Baroness Caroline Cox - The Pain and the Passion - the privilege of making a difference

"I cannot do everything; but I must not do nothing"

In the presence of the High Sheriff of Wiltshire Mr Peter Addington and the Mayor of Marlborough Marian Hannaford- Dobson, Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury gave an impassioned and moving lecture on the work of the charity that she founded in 2003 the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust HART (www.hart-uk.org).

Originally trained as a nurse and then as a social scientist, Baroness Cox said she became a Baroness "by astonishment". From that point she wondered how she could use the privilege of being a baroness to advance the relief of suffering. In the first instance she uses the privilege of a seat in the House of Lords to raise humanitarian issues and the case for aid and advocacy on behalf of those suffering from wars and oppression, particularly those where the main official aid agencies did not reach. She founded HART to put those principles into action on behalf of victims of oppressive regimes and communities suffering from cross border conflicts.

A fundamental principle of HART is that it works in partnership with damaged communities, in a way that respects their dignity, and avoids aid dependency. It consults communities on what they consider their priorities, and jointly plans action that will enhance rather than undermine local capabilities. Baroness Cox said that she always travelled personally to meet communities involved – even when they were in restricted zones - in order to see and experience for herself the conditions. In answer to a question she said she spent some half of her year abroad; the other half devoted to her advocacy role in the UK and elsewhere.

Metaphorically she took the audience on an illustrated tour of some of the main places where HART is in action.

Read more: Lent Lecture 2015 - Baroness Cox review