Ely College students return to Kenya’s Rift Valley to volunteer with their partner schools in the Nakuru slums

Teenagers and staff from Ely College have recently returned from another life-changing experience, volunteering their February half term to help disadvantaged children at the Jubilee and Ungana Academies in Kenya.

Over the last several years, students from Ely College have developed a close connection with two schools in the slums of Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest city. Following the success of their October 2017 trip, many students straightaway vowed to return. There has been a big commitment to fundraise for the Kenya Projects over the last 16 months by 24 students.

As well as the usual cake stalls and sponsored swims to raise funds, students looked to the people of Ely to support their efforts. Ely College is so grateful to the community and local businesses who supported the Kenya Projects, either by sponsoring students or contributing to the mountain of shoes, clothes and school supplies that students took with them as extra luggage. The children of Jubilee and Ungana, staff and parents, were delighted to be gifted even the most basic supplies which we take for granted in the UK. Having something to call their own made the world of difference and this was all thanks to generous donations from our wonderful local community.

Since returning from their 10-day adventure, which in addition to classroom renovations and building new toilet blocks incorporated a wildlife safari, students have reflected on their experience and the stark contrast with our own lives. Teacher Sheila Branch, who jointly led the trip, commended the students for their hard work and compassion: “Not one of our students complained about the desperately poor conditions. Despite each one of them giving their every effort, either labouring to improve the site or teaching the children in class, at the end of trip they still felt like they wanted to do more. Many chose to leave their own clothes, shoes and personal belongings.”

Lauren Burrows who also led the trip commented: “We are so proud of the students who have volunteered this year. There is a real sense of continuity & lasting legacy with each visit, adding to each building project to improve the resources. We have built a strong relationship with the staff in Kenya and they have been warm and generous hosts.” As Ely College bid farewell for another year, Kenyan staff and children gave each volunteer a locally made personalised bracelet;  a memento of a life changing and humbling experience.

For more information about our trip providers African Adventures, click here.

Press release from Ely College

Preparations are Underway for the 66th Soham Carnival

Preparations are underway for the 66th Soham Carnival to be held on 27th May, 9am – 5.30pm at the Recreation Ground, Fountain Lane, Soham.

The Carnival commences with the traditional Heavy Horse Show in the main arena from 9.00am – 1pm. Followed by the judging of floats – Float procession 1.00pm from Holmes Lane through Soham to the Recreation Ground.

We will also be remembering the 75th Anniversary of the Soham Train Disaster on the main arena and the Scout Hut.

For the 3rd year running we are holding a Fun Dog Show.- bring your dog along from 10.00 – 1.00 and enter one of the fun classes email: info@developingdogs.co.uk  for more information.

From 11am – 4pm on The Skate Park – with Mike Mullen. Enter the BMX and Scooter Competitions (parental consent form required for under 16’s)

Other attractions include the live music stage – sponsored by Blueshed Studios, a free ‘Explore Outdoor’ Climbing Wall, Free Scotties have a go Circus Workshop, Kuk So Wan – Martial Arts, Premier Sports have a go Sports Event, Classic cars, a Fun Fair, Beer Tent, Raffle, Inflatables, BBQ, Stalls, Majorettes, Vogue Athletics Dance and Cheerleading, ACF Marching Band, Soham Comrades Band, Punch and Judy Show, Raptor Foundation, Bygones, Zorb Balls, Cub Carts plus much much more.

Stalls and pitches are still available to hire – email carnival@soham.org.uk for more information.

Entre a Parade Float whether you are a Club, Charity, School, Pub or Organisation why not enter a float and enjoy the fun of the Carnival – Prizes to be won!

For more information visit our Facebook page facebook.com/sohamcarnival

Email carnival@soham.org.uk or call 01353 624493.

Press release from Soham Carnival 2019

Ely Air Cadet wins her stripes

It’s one thing to have your hard work and dedication recognised and to be promoted on your Squadron?

But receiving your “stripes” from Her Majesties Representative The Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire Colonel Roger Herriot OBE with Ely’s Mayor Mike Rouse cheering you on? Now that’s a promotion to remember!

Congratulations to Cadet Corporal Saoirse McNeil who in addition to being promoted at the Squadron’s Annual Awards Evening, was awarded her Leading Cadet Classification and attended the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing Junior Non-Commissioned Officer’s course last weekend at RAF Wyton passing with flying colours.

The Squadron’s next open evening for new recruits or those just curious as to what we do as Air Cadets is taking place on Wednesday 3rd April at 8:15pm at The Cadet Centre, Heaton Drive, Ely (in the grounds of Ely Hospital)

From 1094 City of Ely Squadron Air Cadets