Cookham leaps for Africa

NOT many people would have chosen to climb a 13 metre pole, scramble onto a three foot wide platform and then leap onto a trapeze to celebrate the Leap Year on Monday 29 February.

But 75 intrepid people aged between eight and 60 did just that as part of Leap For Africa in Cookham, Berkshire. The event raised funds for  the Gende Tesfa Community in Ethiopia and the New Brainstorm School in Kampala supported by the charity EmpoweraChild. Holy Trinity School in Cookham has been raising money for the Gende Tesfa School, in a community affected by leprosy. Cookham Rise Primary School has formed a similar partnership with the New Brainst

Lisa Peters of Cookham Rise School triumphant after her leap.

Lisa Peters of Cookham Rise School triumphant after her leap.

orm School, a school for street and poor children in desperate need of land and buildings to carry out its work.

The schools got together with the Cookham Community Social Action Group led by the town’s Anglican and Methodist churches to carry out fund raising events under the banner of ‘Cookham Leaps for Africa’. Sarah Parfitt representing Holy Trinity School, and Lisa Peters and Richard Rhodes from Cookham Rise Primary School arranged the leap at the Longridge Activity Centre in Marlow. More than £1,000 was raised.

The leaping was not just confined to the pole. In the schools the pupils did star jumps in their playtime and the Cookhams Benefice priests, Father Nick Plant, the Revd David Joynes  and the Revd Jo Ellington leapt off a bench in the churchyard to show their support.

All this was part of the wider mission of the Benefice of the Cookhams to foster its links with schools and the community and to make a difference in the lives of children. The Social Action Group founded by the local churches is one way of bringing local community resources together to further this aim. It is hoped that Leaping for Africa will now inspire other schools and churches to get involved and do their own ‘leaping’ for the children of Africa.

See pictures of this event on www.facebook.com/leap4africa and www.twitter.com/leap4africa.