As a result of a
holiday in 1997 the Glynn family established a unique charity in The Gambia –
Gambia Tourist Support. The simple aim was to create much needed employment and
training opportunities for Gambian people, thus affording them the dignity of
supporting their families.
with a local community, GTS was able to actually build a school, staff it with
Gambian teachers and arrange the support of visiting volunteers,
Over time it became
obvious that a second charity was needed whose aim would be to raise, manage and
maintain funds for current and future educational projects by building a
supportive membership. Gambia Education and Teaching Support (GETS) was
registered as a UK charity in 2004. Since then we have supported the education
of over 500 students by individual sponsorships, run a Nursery School in Bakoteh,
administered projects on behalf of other charities working in Gambia and more
recently, taken over the administration of an Education Centre in Bakoteh.
Francis Glynn, our
founder, died in December 2011. The trustees are committed to
carrying on the work which he started.
What do we do?
We manage, implement
and monitor a variety of educational projects in The Gambia, West Africa. We
meet regularly, usually via Skype, to discuss the various issues. We are
supported by a group of specialist advisors.
Who are we?
Tony Nelson –
Chairman and Sunrise
My background is as a
senior manager with National UK Telecoms, Broadcasting and Radio Communications
groups, but I have now retired after more than 30 years of service, working in
network operations, infrastructure deployment projects and company change
programmes. I’ve enjoyed a varied career and feel that it’s now time to put
something back by helping those less fortunate. I am married (to Sue) with 3
grown-up children and 8 grandchildren, living in the Southampton area of
invitation from my sister Rosie, one of the GETS advisors, I’ve enjoyed several
holidays to The Gambia during the last couple of years. With my retirement, I
now have available time and practical experience that I hope to lend to the
charity with its various project challenges.
Paul Webster –
I live in Wales
with my wife, Dawn. After gaining a Bsc.Econ at the London School of Economics
I trained as an accountant, I am a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered
Accountants and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. As one of
my hobbies, is bird-watching, I am in my element when visiting The Gambia.
Nelson - Secretary
I am a mother of two sons and a
daughter with eight grandchildren and another on the way! I was born
in Brockham, Surrey and have lived also in Hampshire, Hereford,
Cornwall, Oxford, Scotland, South Wales and finally back in
Hampshire. I have been married to Tony for 35 years. Having worked
for several years as a classroom assistant and special needs
assistant in primary schools I gave up work to go and be a (very)
mature student. I gained a BA and an MA in archaeology at the
University of Southampton and now work for Wessex Archaeology based
in Salisbury as supervisor of the Finds Department. My hobbies
include reading, walking, bird-watching and spending time chatting
to friends on Facebook. I am a committed Christian.
Dawn Webster –
Sponsorship Secretary and
Primary Education Advisor
I am a retired teacher
and live in Wales with my husband, Paul. After coming to live in
Wales, I learnt Welsh then helped in a school where all the teaching is done in
Welsh. As the majority of the children at the school came from non-Welsh
speaking backgrounds this has helped me relate to the problems that Gambian
children have receiving their education in English, both from the point of view
of the student and the teacher.
wife and I visited the Sunrise Centre on our first visit to the
Gambia about 4 years ago. We were immediately impressed with the
achievements of GETS and their plans for the future but at the time
we were running a charity in Tanzania and felt unable to fully
commit to GETS. However, over the next couple of years, our
involvement in Tanzania became difficult to sustain and the charity
has now been wound up (although personal contacts will always
It therefore became possible to commit more time to GETS and I
spent 6 weeks volunteering at the Sunrise Centre in 2014. My
background is in Insurance and Risk Management and I therefore spent
much of my time reviewing Health & Safety issues and initiating Fire
Drills etc. as well as advising on insurance matters. Hopefully, I
have been able to bring a different set of skills to the charity.
I recently responded to a call for new Trustees and was appointed a
Trustee in January 2016. I am now embarking on a steep learning
curve in the hope I can make a positive contribution.
I have a background in finance, governance and risk management having
worked for over 30 years in the NHS, retiring from my post of
Director of Finance in March 2013. Since retiring I have continued
to work part-time as a Non-Executive Director, as well as running a
successful consultancy business, working mainly in the public
sector. I am a qualified accountant and a fellow of the Chartered
Association of Certified Accountants. I have also served as a
Director of a multi-school academy in Darlington.
I am married to Geoff and we have two grown-up daughters and a
son-in-law, and all five of us holiday in the Gambia each year. Our
first holiday to the Gambia was in 2007, and our first visit to
Sunrise was in 2013, and we have been coming back ever since. As a
family we sponsor two girls in the lower school and have supported
skills students as well. We have been amazed at the work that is
done by Sunrise and I am now able to offer further support through
my skills and knowledge to the Trustees and very much look forward
to helping in the continued development of the students, staff and
the facilities of the GETS charity.
Helen Touray –
Our representative in Gambia
With a Human Resources
background in both the public and private sectors, I made a life changing
decision in 2008 and moved over to The Gambia to manage, on a voluntary basis,
aspects of the charity’s operation in The Gambia.
I continue to follow
the trials and tribulations of my local football team back on Merseyside,
Tranmere Rovers, with regular updates from friends and family back home.
Travelling the world has always been a passion of mine having visited Cuba,
China, South America and other countries within Africa, to name but a few.
However, for now, my suitcase lies empty and The Gambia with its people and
culture is my passion.