Out of Africa, into Rothley!
Our Rothley branch manager Benjamin Price is used to working with numbers - but recently it was a letter that proved to be the highlight of his week.
On checking his mail he was over-the-moon, and extremely touched, to receive a surprise thank-you card from eight-year-old Tapiwa, who lives at The Tilinanu Orphanage in Malawi - an inspiring charity founded by Alice Pulford from Rothley with the help of sister Nina and mum Yvonne.
The correspondence - in which Tapiwa says to Benjamin and his colleague Martin “thank you for fundraising, you have changed my life. I love you all” - was penned following this year’s Rothley Duck Race, which raised over £2,500 for four charities including The Tilinanu Orphanage.
Alice, who became Britain’s Best Volunteer and was also named as a Point of Light by the Prime Minister in 2015, said: “The Tilinanu Orphanage owes The Nottingham - and Benjamin and his team in particular - a huge debt of gratitude for their kind-hearted support and hard work in organising the annual duck race.
“We make all of the girls at the orphanage aware of the annual fundraising efforts in Rothley and it makes them extremely happy to think that so many people, so far away, really do care about them.
“It was fantastic that Tapiwa wanted to write the card on behalf of not just herself but everyone that the charity helps and just as great to hear that The Nottingham’s Rothley branch received it and are fully aware of how much we think of them and appreciate everything they have done.”
The Tilinanu Orphanage has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and is home to over 40 girls. Last year Alice and her volunteer team at the not-for-profit charity also built a school in Malawi, which now educates over 450 children.
From a Leicestershire perspective, what makes the charity even more special is that many Rothley-based children get involved in the many events each calendar year - including the Duck Race - that raise vital funds for less well-off youngsters in Africa.
Benjamin explained: “It seem slightly unusual to some that The Tilinanu Orphanage is effectively a local charity to the people of Rothley. But it is true that a fantastic cause in Malawi has been taken to the hearts of people here.
“Here at The Nottingham we are very proud of Alice and what she and her family and team of volunteers have achieved and that’s why we chose the orphanage as one of the charities to benefit from the duck race and we are delighted that it does.
“One of the races on ‘Duck Race Day’ is held specifically for the children of Tilinanu and the local youngsters here, and their parents, love the fact they can have some fun knowing that they are directly helping children in Africa who without the orphanage could well be hungry and homeless.”
The other three charities that received funds following the duck race were Alex’s Wish, The Jake McCarthy Foundation and Warners Wish To Walk.
The duck race raised money for great causes and, inset, Benjamin Price with the lovely thank-you card from Tapiwa.