Teacher wins national award for Gambia School Fundraising

An Abercynon schoolteacher has received a prestigious award from the Credit Unions of Wales for her devoted fundraising efforts in aid of children in Gambia.

Sharon Rees Williams was announced as winner of the Member Making a Difference category following a nomination by Smart Money Cymru Credit Union.

Whilst on holidays in the Gambia in February 2018, Sharon visited a school in Mansa Maru. On returning home she shared her experiences with the children in her class a Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Abercynon.

Sharon said: “I was amazed when I visited the school in Mansa Maru at how large the classes were and how little resources they had to teach all of these children. Yet the pupils were happy, engaged and interested in learning.

“As a teacher I see how children’s lives can be changed through education. When I saw the children in Gambia and how the teachers were working so hard to provide an education for them in such difficult circumstances, I knew we had to do something to help.”

The children in Abercynon raised money by holding a bake sale and other activities. Sharon also knitted daffodils to sell to friends and family and saves the money earned from these activities with Smart Money Credit Union who send it to the Western Union Bank in Gambia free of charge.

“I had great difficulty in transferring the money to Gambia through my own bank,” Sharon added. “Fortunately, Smart Money Cymru were able to provide this service effortlessly and have been a great support.

“I’m delighted with this award – but really its for the children more than anyone else because they deserve to be recognised for their kindness in helping others.”

Mark White, Chief Executive of Smart Money Cymru Credit Union said: “”The international schools link Sharon has established in the Gambia is remarkable. We at Smart Money Cymru Credit Union are very happy to play a small part in helping Sharon send the funds raised to the Mansa Mara School in Dunbling with no charge incurred. We are very proud of our member and will continue to support her efforts in the future.”

Sharon was one of nine winners of this year’s Credit Unions Awards which is sponsored by Engage with support from the Welsh Government.

Geoff Leech Managing Director at Engage added: “Engage Account is delighted to be sponsoring the Credit Unions of Wales Awards for the third consecutive time and we are continually impressed by the high standards of entries.

“This year is no exception as they illustrate once more the commitment and dedication of businesses, workers, organisations, members and volunteers towards the global credit union movement.

“We congratulate all of the winners and highly commended for all that they do to further the incredible work of ethical savings and loan providers across Wales.”


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Great video. We're really looking forward to returning to schools @shirenewtonsch @PembrokePrimary @LlanyPrimary @OLAPrimary https://twitter.com/SaversSchool/status/1382582290870632450

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