Money raise in memory of Nick Baker used to build school in earthquake-ravaged Nepal
PUBLISHED: 15:32 26 June 2019
Money raised in memory of a Sidmouth man has been used to help build a school in the earthquake-ravaged country of Nepal.
More than 20 financial experts from the Old Mill raised £20,000 from a charity bike ride, from Cherbourg to Yeovil, in memory of their colleague Nick Baker who lost a short and sudden battle with cancer in 2016.
Half of the money went to Marie Curie, the charity chosen by Nick's parents, with the rest going to School in the Bag.
School in the Bag then donated £4,400 of the money to the Rotary Club of Yeovil for its £64,000 fundraising campaign to build a brand new six-classroom school in Shree Saraswoti.
In 2015, an earthquake destroyed much of the Sindhupalchok region of Nepal, including 475 of the 545 schools in the area.
In response, the Rotary Club of Yeovil launched a fundraising drive to build a new school and one of the charities heavily involved in the project was School in a Bag. The Yeovil-based charity provides school bags filled with stationery, learning resources and eating utensils for vulnerable and disaster-affected children. It also helps fund bigger projects like the construction of the Shree Saraswoti School.
On hearing the news, Nick's parents, Mike and Cilla Baker from Sidmouth, said they were 'delighted and proud to learn that the money raised has been used for something so worthwhile'.
Old Mill has also supported a subsequent fundraising effort over the past few months to raise an additional £3,600 for School in a Bag to provide school bags for each of the school's first 180 pupils.
Sally Harrison, associate director at the Old Mill and Rotarian, took part in the Nick Baker memorial ride and said she and her colleagues were so pleased to see their fundraising efforts in Nick's memory have helped such a worthy cause.
She said: "The communities in Sindhupalchok were already very poor, and then when the earthquake hit, the little they did have was destroyed. The local school was operating out of a shed.
"This project has had a hugely positive impact on the area. The children have a wonderful new school to learn in, which has raised the profile of education in the region and resulted in renewed interest and investment from the local government.
"When members from Rotary Club of Yeovil and School in a Bag went out there to see the children and give them their bags - which were also put together out there with local partners - the looks on their delighted faces just shows what an important campaign this was."