A large consignment of medical supplies left over from the London Olympics is on its way to an up-country medical centre in Sierra Leone. John and Annette Roberts of Woodbridge’s Top Floor Studio are also sending out 14 solar panels to provide power for lights and fans. This follows their supply of 10 hydraulic hospital beds in 2010.
The 75 boxes and four crates of medical supplies remaindered from the Olympics were bought by Annette through the good offices of AGB Plant and Equipment in Stevenage. The solar panels were generously donated by Mosscliff Environmental at Horam Airfield, near Eye
Annette became involved in helping Sierra Leone when visiting her brother, Mike McCorkill, who ran the Marampa iron ore mine for London Mining. She was impressed by the positive attitude of the desperately poor people there and set up Operation Hospital Beds in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Woodbridge to collect funds to support the medical centre.
Mike was able to arrange for his company to transport the beds without charge. Sadly, he died last year, but Annette and London Mining are continuing their support for the medical centre in his memory. The company is transporting the new consignment and will arrange for the fitting of the solar panels and associated storage batteries.
Annette and John have raised more than £8,000 for the hospital through sales of photographs and paintings of Sierra Leone and through donations from customers and friends. Sierra Leone High Commissioner in London, Edward Turay, said: “My country is very grateful for the magnificent effort Annette is making for our people.”
Cultural Attache, Didi Longe, added: “Lots of people who come to the country see the conditions and go home saying they must do something to help. Most don’t get very far, because they attempt something too ambitious, but what Annette is doing is practical, manageable and makes best use of her professional skills as a photographer.”
Annette’s photographs and John’s paintings of Sierra Leone scenes are on show at Top Floor Studio on Quayside in Woodbridge next door to the Riverside Cinema.