NCBC appeal for craft items for Bulgaria mission
A team from Norwich Central Baptist Church who are preparing to visit children living in a Bulgarian orphanage are putting out a last minute appeal for donations of craft materials and other small items.
Each year teams from Norwich Central Baptist Church (NCBC) and Redhill Baptist Church in Surrey travel to the Barzitsa Children’s Home in Bulgaria to do renovation and decorating jobs, run a fun programme of activities and generally build Christian fellowship.
This year a team of 11 are set to fly out on Saturday 25th August and they are appealing for small donations of materials to support the craft and play activities that have proved so popular in the past.
Steve Gaskin, a trip leader who has visited the Children’s Home twice previously, said: “This time last year we had a huge amount of craft materials - so much we couldn’t carry it all out. But this year we are really struggling”.
The team are asking for donations of bubbles, marbles, craft materials, anything to do with racquet and ball games, cosmetics and small amounts of money. Steve said: ‘We are planning to take the children to the beach. If people can give just £1 to that, it will go a long way in Bulgaria”.
This year the activities will have an Olympic theme with the highlight being a party at the end of the fortnight.
Steve says: “The children haven’t got parents so the trip is an important opportunity to spend time talking to them about their problems, giving them some personal attention, allowing the girls to do girly things and the boys to have fun.”
The NCBC connection with the orphanage in Barzitsa began in 1996 when Peter Barnes, a member of NCBC then working with Saltmine Trust first visited the near derelict Children’s Home. He encountered neglect and need both with the premises and the sixty-eight children housed there.
Morale amongst the staff was at rock bottom, as they tried to feed, clothe, accommodate and socialise young people between the ages of six and sixteen on very limited resources.
Since then, with much dedication from Peter and his wife Wendy, the Saltmine Trust, the charity Krasif Aid and a whole host of volunteers from Norwich and elsewhere, the premises have been renovated and completely rebuilt up to or above Western standards. The children are well fed, well clothed, healthy and generally happy and staff are fulfilled with resources to do a good job.
Steve Gaskin (pictured right in the Union Jack t-shirt), a former Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector and teacher who now runs his own business, Right Angle Events, running CSI activities, describes his visits to Barzitsa as a ‘life changing experience’.
He says: “I am really excited about the prospect of seeing the children again and meeting new ones. Who would have thought a 55 year old ex-Old Bill, ex-teacher would enjoy visiting a Bulgarian orphanage so much.”
Steve is willing to come and collect any donations of craft, sport or cosmetic materials or they can be sent to his home address before next Friday 24th August.
Please address donations to Steve and Kate Gaskin, 2 Maple Drive, Taverham, NR8 6TF. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or call Steve and Kate on 01603 864 647 or 07921 295 534.
All donations will be very gratefully received and acknowledged.
A video of last year’s trip can be viewed on You Tube here.