The ‘Home of Love’ (Ekhaya Lothando) School got the final finishing touches to building work when 18 of the FACE team descended on Masiphumele for a week in February 2014.
It was the climax of more than a year of fundraising by the group of friends that raised more than £48,600 covering the cost of construction of the new classroom building, improvements to the existing building, a new toilet block, covered and open play areas, a laptop computer, class furniture, educational materials and teacher training.
FACE PlaqueFACE Team 23 (2)
Masicorp, who have overseen the project, gave the team a schedule of works that would see the school completed during their visit and in time for an official opening party at the end of the week on Friday, February 21. The list of outstanding work included redecorating all of the outside of the main building, perimeter walls and railings, and inside the third classroom, plus cementing in windows and ceiling repairs.
 FACE Classroom
Work got under way each day at about 8am and also involved assistance from Masicorp’s Project Manager, Al Ritchie and site foreman Raymond. Leading the FACE team’s efforts on site was Phil Cockerton, being the only one who genuinely knew anything about building works.
“Everyone put their backs into it and I think we were all really surprised and happy by how much was achieved during that week,” said Phil. “It was quite something to have so many people busily working alongside each other. There was a great sense of achievement at the end of it.”
FACE paint spillFACE Main building
In addition to the building works roughly half the FACE crowd, mainly the ladies, took the 30 plus pupils on two day trips, one to the science museum in Cape Town and the other to the nearby child-friendly Imhof Farm.
FACE founder member Stena Riches said: “Quite simply we all fell in love with the children on those two days. They are just adorable and it made all that hard work of fundraising worth every minute.”
One of the best aspects of the new school was the quality of the completed project, in particular the new classroom block to the rear, which had specially vaulted ceilings with a row of high windows to give it a truly airy feel. Considerable praise is due to architect Graham Finlayson. A stainless steel commemorative plaque was designed and made by Sam Holland, a sculptor and FACE founder member. In addition another hand-carved wooden plaque was presented by Masicorp. However, perhaps the most attractive memory of the FACE team left behind was the image of a tree painted onto a wall using each of the FACE team members’ hand imprints to form the design, including ones for those unable to be present.
 FACE Team Tree
One of Masicorp’s main project team and experienced construction director Colin Blaikie explained that these new surroundings had a significant impact on the children. He said: “The thing that surprised me most was the effect of the building on the children. You could immediately see that it improved their whole attitude and behaviour. I have never seen that kind of change purely from a better environment.”
At the official opening the children entertained with songs under the guidance of Dr Sophie Billington, who has been the critical link between the school teachers and pupils with FACE. At the start of the week the teachers and some mothers had also greeted the arrival of the team with songs and dancing.
Andrew Smith. Masicorp’s CEO, had worked tirelessly to co-ordinate the scheme and expressed his pleasure at the opening in seeing it all come to fruition. “We have been so impressed by FACE. Thanks to their incredible fundraising this pre-school is now an example we can show others of just what can be achieved.”
Also present at the opening were two pupils of West Lodge Primary School, Pinner, Middlesex, which played a major role in helping to raise funds and formed an important link between children from the UK with their ‘adopted’ new friends. Joshua (8) and Julian (6) Luiz were guests of honour and mixed happily with the Masiphumele pupils.
The most important attendees at the official opening were undoubtedly Priscilla, who founded the school, and her daughter Indiana, who now works there as it’s leading teacher. The ever-smiling Indiana expressed their obvious delight: “We are so incredibly grateful to all of you and we promise that many children will now be helped thanks to you.”
After the official opening everyone enjoyed a Braai (barbecue) at Decks restaurant, when a further aspect of the FACE efforts was highlighted with the presentation of a laptop computer to Indiana. This was part of the group’s wider funding of teacher training for Indiana at a Montesori school and education assistance for another future teacher at the school.
Nick Jenkins, of FACE, summed up the week of work and the year plus of fundraising: “It has been something none of us will ever forget, a true lifelong memory. We could not be more pleased with the end result and seeing the smiling faces of those little children was the ideal reward. Now we look forward to hearing how the school is doing and the children progressing.
“Most of all it was marvellous to see what a group of friends could do by coming together. In all there are 31 founder members of FACE, and although not all were able to travel to Masiphumelele for the opening week, everyone was just as important and did their bit. There were so many different fundraising events and although at times it was hard work, just as importantly, it was great fun. It showed what a great bunch of friends can achieve and made you proud to be one of them.”
The 18 members of the team that travelled to Masiphumele were: Kaye and Steve Bishop, Di and John Brice, Joy and Phil Cockerton, Marion and Nick Jenkins, Jackie and Tony Mankelow, Rachael and Don Pilcher, Nicki Purdie and Jordan Jenkins, Stena and Steve Riches, and Bob and Helen Steele.
FACE Team 27 (2)
Equally vital to the project, but unable to attend for a variety of reasons were; Joy Douglas and Joel Jenkins, Clare and Scott Elsey, Glynis Fowler and Len Smith, Jackie Hearn, Sam and Paul Holland, Chris Oliver and Ron Price, and Angela Welham and Eric Goodwin. Special mention must also go to Athena Douglas, who was the teacher at West Lodge Primary School, who led their extremely successful fundraising efforts.


A group of 23 teachers and parents from West Lodge Primary School in Pinner, Middlesex, ran the Reading Half Marathon and raised more than £4000 for the FACE project. Over the past year the school has organised a number of events to raise money to support the building of the new Ekhaya Lothando School (Home of Love) in Masiphumelele, a township in Cape Town.
Athena Douglas, teacher at West Lodge, set up the school link with FACE and Ekhaya Lothando School in Maisphumelele and had the idea to run the Reading Half Marathon back in October. Miss Douglas set about gathering the staff/parents team together and inspiring teachers and parents alike to take on the challenge.
Since training for the race began back in October a team of teachers and parents could regularly be seen pounding the streets of Pinner on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Overcoming bouts of injury and illness, the team emerged ready to face the challenge on the morning March 2nd.
Headteacher, Kim James, who took part in the run said: “It was great to get the school community of teachers and parents together to run for such a good cause. It was difficult on the day, but we rose to the challenge and achieved it – at West Lodge we all have a growth mindset.”
The Ekhaya Lothando School opened on February 21st 2014 and two pupils from West Lodge were able to visit and be there on the day. Joshua and Julian Luiz, went to visit family in Cape Town during half term, luckliy there trip coincided with the opening of the school so the brothers were invited as guests of honour to represent West Lodge on the day.
Nick Jenkins from FACE said: “Everyone at West Lodge should be very proud of what they have helped to achieve. The new pre school now has three classrooms, and outside play area, a covered play area, and toilets, around the teacher accommodation and kitchen, which is vital as all the children receive a healthy balanced meal each day. The two main teachers Priscilla and Indiana were more thrilled than you can imagine. Indiana was also presented with a new laptop to help with the school administration and FACE is paying for her continued teacher training at a Montessori facility, which she says has opened her eyes to far more advanced education for the children. Our charity partners Masicorp say it is a project they will use as a template to show others what can be achieved.”
WLWhippets run Reading Boys getting involved[1]


An adult panto by members of the FACE team and other friends brought a year of fundraising to the perfect fun end with laughs all round.
“Possibly the Worst Panto Ever” as it was titled was staged by the Gentlemen’s Ale Sampling Society (GASS), a group of friends that includes a number of the FACE crowd among its ranks.
To a packed audience at the Roffen Club, Rochester, on January 7, 2014, the cast of 20 joked, rhymed and sang their way through three loosely linked mini-pantos based on Cinderella,  Aladdin and Snow White. A total of more than £1500 was achieved in the process, which included an extra £130 plus that cast members contributed for panto writer Nick Jenkins to suffer a custard pie attack at the dress rehearsal.
“The whole thing was hysterical. It was as much fun because of the mistakes and bad acting as anything else. Everyone had a real laugh whether in the audience or the cast,” said Del de Lorme, the Director, whose wife Mel was the only lady cast member starring as both Cinderella and Snow White.
“We had everything from the classic panto gags to a Full Monty strip.”
The panto was the last fundraising effort by the main FACE members and brought the total raised in just over a year to more than £42,500.
“That means we have easily beaten our original school build costs of £30,000 and the rest of the money means we can really finish off the project with extra works and facilities, such as equipment and teacher training,” said Nick Jenkins, one of the FACE team. “It is has been an amazing effort by everyone involved and there could not have been a better way to round it off. We always set out to have a lot of fun while we worked to get the money for the Ekhaya Lothando school and this was an ideal finale for the team.”
The whole panto cast line up to take their bow

The whole panto cast line up to take their bow

Panto writer Nick gets a custard pie in the face from the cast at dress rehearsal.

Panto writer Nick gets a custard pie in the face from the cast at dress rehearsal.

Cast in Full swing!

Cast in Full swing!


At the Derbyshire Branch of FACE, four (of five) Ladies that Brunch  
held their Christmas get-together on 16 December.  Instead of their  
normal practice of exchanging Christmas gifts they have decided to  
make donations to FACE and a total of £90 was collected.  
As Derby organiser Helen Steele puts it: "Merry Christmas one and all!"

Seen below are four of the Derbyshire fundraisers enjoying coffee  
after their Christmas brunch:



Right at the outset of the FACE fundraising campaign some collection tins were bought at the pound shop and having been suitably decorated were handed out for folks to fill with their spare loose change…and after one year those pennies really turned into pounds.
At the December FACE Supper the tins were handed in and more than £500 was tallied up from all the coins (and some notes) they contained.
King of the collectors had to be Tony Mankelow with £289 in the tin he had placed in his jewellery shop in Sheerness. And if he was King then Joy Cockerton was Queen Collector having brought in a steady stream of filled tins from her friendly local garden centre.
Don and Rachael at the December Tin Collection.

Don and Rachael at the December Tin Collection.

A basket stuffed with collection tins and cash.

A basket stuffed with collection tins and cash.


The safest place on the neatly manicured rinks of Brisbane’s Merthyr Bowls Club during a FACE fundraiser was next to the jack.


Steve and Kaye Bishop organised a barefoot bowls tournament for Pommie friends visiting Australia for the first Ashes Test in November at The Gabba and for their Australian friends lucky enough not to be working on a Wednesday afternoon.

Most of the 20 participants were novices – which was plain to see as woods veered off in unexpected and unintended directions during the two-hour session.

An hour was allowed for calming drinks afterwards while fines were administered, with Kaye, for example, having to cough up for being the closest to the jack – on a neighbouring rink.

The pain of having pockets and purses emptied was alleviated by a scrumptious barbecue next to a beautiful stretch of the Brisbane River and flaming poincianas.

‘Thanks to everyone for contributing $250 to FACE,’ said Kaye. ‘We charged $10 as a donation to FACE. Then we fined people $1 time for all sorts of misdemeanours, real and imagined.’ The donation with Gift Aid amounts to more than £150.

bowls 2013

Organiser Kaye Bishop (in white) with other lady players relaxing after their bowling exploits.


FACE celebrated the culmination of a year of fundraising events on Friday December 22 with a room full of Santas and other festive fancy dress characters at its Xmas Party.
The colourful celebration at the Roffen Club brought an extra Christmas present of funds for the school project with more than £2000 raised on the night and Gift Aid to come on top of that.
More than 90 tickets were sold and extra cash came from the raffle (£341), an auction of a Porsche race driving day (£300) and photos of fancy dress competition entrants (£170). Added to which the owners of the Roffen, Brian and Sara Henslow, generously donated the venue and buffet for free.
The entertainment was an excellent eight-piece band ‘The Chillbillies’ with their great brass section. Certainly the sight of a dance floor full of rocking Santas was somewhat bizarre and really something to behold.
The final event of 2013 was organised by FACE stalwarts Jacqui and Tony Mankelow. Jacqui said: “Everyone had a really good night and it ended our year of fundraising with a bang, which is what we wanted.’

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