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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Painter and decorator Lee Adkin from Gravesend returns from trip to Uganda

15 March 2014
by Alex Matthews

Lee Adkin, 25, from Gravesend, has just returned from a volunteering trip to Kampala, Uganda, where he worked with the Nsumbi Trust at the Stephen Jota Children’s Centre (SJCC).

Lee Adkin and the children from the SJCC.

Lee Adkin and the children from the SJCC.

Nsumbi is a UK charity that works with the SJCC to help impoverished children, young people and families living in Kampala. It is a place where youngsters can get food, accommodation and education.

Mr Adkin, of Wrotham Road, said: “One thing that I was blown away by was that everybody, but particularly the children, had such resilience.

“They are also incredibly resourceful. Nothing goes to waste in terms of food and anything you can think of.”

Lee Adkin tackles the painting of a ceiling in the school's dining hall.

Lee Adkin tackles the painting of a ceiling in the school's dining hall.

Mr Adkin, along with other volunteers, painted a 55ft by 33ft dining hall – a job that will always have a place close to his heart.

He said: “It was really hard work and all the team was aching by the end.

“It took the best part of three days to do, but I was so proud at the end of it.

“The room will be used as a dining hall, a room for teachers to meet and a place for exams to be taken.”

Mr Adkin said that one of the most difficult experiences for him was visiting the slums in Kampala.

He said: “When we went into the slums and met some of the families who use the centre, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

“Seeing the level of poverty with open sewers running everywhere, was a real mix of emotions for me.

“It made me angry that people from the same world as me, who are only a plane journey away, actually live like this.”

Despite the trip being hard at times, Mr Adkin said it was a positive experience and is already considering going back.

He said: “I don’t want to sound doom and gloom, I had a great time.

“The kids were great and I met a lot of inspirational people.”

Friends, family and the public generously donated £1,000 towards Lee Adkin’s trip.


He also appealed for football shirts for the sports-crazy kids in Kampala and was over the moon with the response.

Mr Adkin with some of the lads from the SJCC wearing the donated football shirts.

Mr Adkin with some of the lads from the SJCC wearing the donated football shirts.

Roger Hosking's granddaughter Rosina with some of the donated shirts

Roger Hosking's granddaughter Rosina with some of the donated shirts

Charlton Athletic FC was one of the biggest contributors, giving numerous kits.

Former Sunday league football manager Roger Hosking, 67, of The Marlowes, Crayford, who ran VCD Athletic, also made a sizeable donation of 151 pieces of kit, four footballs and even a Kent referee’s outfit.

He said: “When I packed up running the team a few years ago I held on to them.

"I’ve been looking for someone who might need them. I thought it would be a waste to chuck them out.”

Another team willing to lend a helping hand was Sandhawks Netball Club who play in Aylesford.

The team gave 36 pieces of kit including skirts, shirts, tracksuits, bibs and fleeces, 10 baseball caps, an 

assortment of sports undergarments and a netball.

Messenger senior news editor Nikki White is a member of the club.

She said: “We are keen to encourage as many youngsters to take up netball as we can.

"We have several young players in our club and had a number of skirts and shirts left over after we changed our kit.

“When I heard about Lee’s plea, I wondered if the children in Kampala would be interested in netball, and he said they would.

“Sandhawks is delighted to help more young players get involved in the game.”

Mr Adkin was pleased with the donations. He said: “I want to say a huge thank you to all who donated.

"You’ve made a big difference to people’s lives.” 

Lee Adkin with the winning team from the SJCC's netball tournament.

Lee Adkin with the winning team from the SJCC's netball tournament.

To find out more about the Nsumbi Trust log on to www.nsumbi.org

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