Charity Golf Day Raises Money For Nasio Trust Jigger Flea Project

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Henley Golf Club welcomed back the Nasio Trust last Wednesday for their third annual charity golf day. Under a fortuitously sunny sky, 48 philanthropic players split into 12 teams for an 18 hole contest, all in aid of the UK and Kenya-based non-profit. With the added funds raised by a live auction and raffle tickets, the charitable competition raised over £2,500 for the Nasio Trust.

Founded in 2001 by Nancy and Jonathan Hunt, the Nasio Trust works with communities in Kenya to break the poverty cycle, focusing on three main strategies: providing education, improving healthcare, and developing income generation projects. With sustainability at its core, the Nasio Trust aims to empower the communities it helps so that they can become self-sufficient. The charity has undertaken and completed number of impactful projects through their work; in 2016, they opened a new medical centre in the heart of the Musanda community, to which the proceeds of last year’s golf day were directed.

This year proved to be equally beneficial for the charity as the generous golfers dug into their pockets for the cause, amassing over £2,500 for the Nasio Trust. In addition to the participation costs, the total amount raised was boosted by donations in the raffle and the live auction. Prizes up for grabs in the auction included ATP tennis tickets, 2 VIP tickets for Rod Stewart at the O2, and a chance to row with a GB Olympic rower on the Henley Royal Regatta course. Four balls at Richmond Golf course and Henley Golf club were also on offer, whilst the raffle (supported by Nielsen) featured an ample amount of booze.

The fantastic total raised by the 2019 charity golf day will go towards another crucial project as the Trust tackles the problem of jigger fleas. These small parasitic insects burrow into the skin (most commonly the feet) and lay eggs, causing painful lesions. Nasio Trust Director Nancy Hunt reported, “It really does affect people’s health, and especially children because it’s very uncomfortable, and because of discrimination — children really don’t want to go to school because of them.” Research conducted by the Trust has identified the three most effective methods to combat jigger fleas: hygiene, flooring and footwear. By plastering floors in family homes and producing their own shoes, the Nasio Trust hopes to significantly reduce the incidence of jigger flea infestations. Nancy explained, “Some of the money that we get from here will be used produce our own shoes using recycled jeans, because as a fabric it’s breathable, and recycled tyres. We’ve had a prototype shoe done helping to reduce what we all know about in the West – climate change – and also to create jobs. Everyone has a pair of jeans they don’t wear and tyres, there are lots that get thrown around, so we can use those and create employment.”

Henley resident Emma Lerche-Thomsen, who organised the event for the Trust, revealed just how common jigger fleas are through a personal story. She recalled, “We were out in Kenya visiting the project and my friend wore flips flops one afternoon to go out and see Daisy the cow. We were only there for six days in Kenya and when she came back, she noticed a little verruca-type spot on the sole of her foot and it was a jigger. It was as easy as that.” The amount raised by the golfers will go a long way in combatting the prevalence of fleas. “From this we know we’ll be able to plaster at least 10 floors for 10 families,” said Nancy. “We’ve worked out we can reduce the cost of producing the shoes to £3 per pair of shoes, and it also means that we can employ at least 3 people. So from here we can create employment, support at least 10 families, and produce however many shoes we can from whatever is left.”

In addition to feeling good about the impact their money will have, the golfers also got to enjoy a fantastic day out on the Henley course, followed by a delicious two course lunch. In the end, the winning team was that of John Worthington, Marcus Bateman, Lachlan McDonald and Geoff Knapp, with runner up prizes going to John Price, Malcolm Taylor, Richard Wheeler, and Gordon Neilsen. Nearest the pin on the 7th was Clive Bellwood, and the Longest Drive winner was Alex Neil. The event was again sponsored by Jonathan Hunt’s company, Expert Wealth Management, along with new supporter Kato Enterprises. Many of the participants had taken part in the last two events, proving the powerful effect of the charitable purpose. Nancy reflected, “It’s a good course, the golf course, and a good cause that we’re raising money for this year and therefore I think that you then get the commitment of the players who want to come back next year.”

Emma added, “We must thank Expert Wealth Management and Kato, who sponsored today. We’d obviously love to thank the Henley Golf Club. They are always very good to us – it feels like family. James Brockington, particularly, has coordinated it for me, and Sophie in the kitchen. Obviously, Nancy and her team, Louise Russell and Chantelle McDowell, have been so supportive and came really early this morning to set it all up and meet the golfers with a cheery smile and a cup of coffee. I can’t fault it at all.”

Nancy then added her thanks to “most importantly, Emma, because honestly, she coordinates everything. We only find out the last week that there’s a team and they’re playing and the course is booked and the date is booked. We couldn’t do it without her; she’s just incredible and we do love Emma. It’s nice to have this in the annual calendar, so we’ll definitely be doing next year.”