Bessie is fundraising

Team Bessie Rafferty for Wonder Years Centre of Excellence

£312.00 + £63.00 Gift Aid = £375.00
Donated to Bessie’s £400.00 Goal

Bessie’s story

My name is Bessie Rafferty and I am 13 years old. I am going to swim 5km to raise money for the Wonder Years Centre of Excellence. They provide education and healthcare in The Gambia, one of Africa’s poorest nations.  As somebody who hates exercise and normally only swims for fun with my friends, this is not something that is going to be easy for me!

My scout group, the 1st Crystal Palace Scout Group, are travelling to The Gambia in February 2019. We are paying for our own flights and accommodation but want to raise money to help the charity we will be visiting.

The charity is called the Wonder Years Centre of Excellence (WYCE). They believe that education, health care and living sustainably are the way to help Gambians make a better future for themselves. They help people to help themselves, not just giving them hand-outs.

There is a Scout troop in The Gambia and scouts from Crystal Palace go to help out every three years. In between these visits we stay in touch and send them medicines and equipment. When we get to The Gambia we will be helping with lots of things including building a new classroom – including making the actual building blocks by hand! 

All funds raised will be passed to the charity irrespective of whether my target is reached, not reached or exceeded.


Wonder Years Centre of Excellence

Wonder Years Centre of Excellence (WYCE) is a UK-registered charity (No. 1089167) and Gambian-registered NGO (A78). We believe that education, health care and sustainable livelihoods are the key to enabling Gambians to make a better future for themselves. We aim to offer a hand up, not just a hand out.


The Gambia is Africa's smallest nation, and one of its poorest. WYCE has been operating in The Gambia since 2001. Over the years, what started as a single nursery class to support children’s learning and development has been slowly evolving and growing. We now provide education (in partnership with the Gambian Government) – and a hot meal - for more than 600 children each day, a primary health care clinic and emergency hospital transfer service, skills training and livelihoods for the local community. In The Gambia, WYCE is run by Gambians, for Gambians.


A key focus of our work over recent years has been upon ensuring the sustainability of our core work for the future. We work on a not-for-profit basis, all income being used to fund our core programmes: education, healthcare and livelihoods. Traditionally, WYCE relied heavily on the UK charity as its primary funder, but in recent years we successfully earned income in The Gambia through the refurbishment, repair and sale of bicycles as a result of our partnership with UK charity Re~Cycle. In 2017, 68% of WYCE’s income in The Gambia was earned through enterprises such as this – 32% coming from UK via donations and from lodge fees paid by visiting volunteers.

Registered Charity Number: 1089167.

Find out more about Wonder Years Centre of Excellence

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We recognise the selfless commitment made by fundraisers who train for months to run marathons, face their fears by jumping out of aeroplanes or open their homes to the community for charity bakes and coffee mornings. We believe the charities they support should receive EVERY PENNY from their fundraising efforts.

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