Africa expedition puts Northampton charity in the driving seat

An expedition to Africa has helped to raised £10,000 for Northampton Saints Foundation which will be put towards the cost of a new vehicle to transport students.

In May, Northampton-based travel company, Africa Exclusive, celebrated its 30th anniversary with an expedition to Africa which saw holiday makers travel the entire length of the Zambezi River, more than 1,600 miles.

The non-profit expedition saw all of the proceeds divided between three charities, Tusk, Send a Cow and Northampton Saints Foundation, who each received £10,000.

As part of the expedition, Northampton Saints Foundation ambassador Jack Fleckney, joined the holiday makers on behalf of the Foundation and spent time with the young people at Tongabezi School.

Jack said: “It was wonderful to be able to visit the children at the Tongabezi School. While I was there, I taught them some rugby and shared with them what life was like for the Foundation’s students. I recorded a video of my time at the school and the students back home were able to watch it and learn about day-to-day life in a school in Zambia. Being an ambassador for the Foundation is so inspiring. I’m a normal guy who has experienced setbacks in life and I hope I can use my experiences to inspire more young people.”

Back home, Africa Exclusive employees completed fundraising of their own, travelling the virtual length of the Zambezi River in various fundraising challenges.

Laura Burdett-Munns, Managing Director of Africa Exclusive said: “I am delighted to support the great work of Northampton Saints Foundation this year through our non-profit Zambezi Expedition, a expedition that saw us become the first tour operator to travel the length of the mighty Zambezi River alongside our clients.

“We have been crafting unique holidays to our world’s wild places for more than 30 years, but during this time our roots have remained firmly in Northampton, where our office is based. As well as supporting conservation and communities in Africa, we’re committed to helping our local community thrive. I am pleased that the £10,000 raised will enable the Northampton Saints Foundation to purchase a new minibus for use of the 16+ programmes, helping to ensure that they are equipped to travel for work experience and volunteering opportunities, further enhancing their employability.”

Catherine Deans, Managing Director of Northampton Saints Foundation said: “Having an additional vehicle means our young people can take part in more work experience and social inclusion opportunities, to help build their skills and personal development. We are grateful to Africa Exclusive who chose to celebrate their 30 years with a very special exhibition and team building activities to positively influence young people’s lives both here and in Africa. An event we will always remember.”