STOURBRIDGE town centre was turned into an African wonderland on Saturday to help raise £3,000 for the Well of Life appeal.

Thousands of visitors took part in face painting, fun and games, and got the chance to see various species of African animals, which were all part of the fundraising event day at Ryemarket Shopping Centre.

The Stourbridge News appeal, in conjunction with Ridgewood High School’s Project Gambia initiative, aims to raise £10,000 for a water pump and irrigation system to serve the drought-stricken village of Sintet.

Other entertainment on offer for visitors to the town centre precinct included adult and child tombolas, a name the bear competition, charity shops, games, as well as African drumming, singing and dancing.

The amount raised on Saturday totted up to £1,720, but a generous donor rounded the figure to £2,000.

On top of that, the High Street branch of Barclays has promised to offer £1,000 of event day match funding, bringing the total amount raised by the event to £3,000.

Pete Wallace, deputy editor of the Stourbridge News, said: “After 10 hours of fundraising we were all really tired, but it was so worthwhile.

“I want to thank everyone who helped organise the event, as well as those who took part or donated on the day – especially the African drummers who performed for almost five-and-a-half hours."

Pupils from Ridgewood High School, many of whom recently visited Africa as part of this year’s Project Gambia trip, either helped run stalls or performed live on stage at the event day.

Bev Hodt, assistant headteacher and Project Gambia leader, said: “The whole day went really well.

“We are so grateful for the support of the Ryemarket staff - who were really helpful on the day – and the Stourbridge News for backing Project Gambia.

“We had a number of students and parents attend the event day and really appreciate all they have done, not just last weekend but throughout this year’s project.”

Kelley Dyas, Ryemarket Shopping Centre manager, said: “The day was a great success and it has been brilliant working with the Stourbridge News and Ridgewood High School.

“We had thousands of lovely customers pass through the Ryemarket doors who have helped raise a large sum of money for a really good cause.”

You can still make a donation to our appeal online or by visiting the Stourbridge News offices.

To make a donation online visit or text PROG15 and your amount, either £10, £5, £4, £3, £2, £1, to 70070.

Cash, cheques or in person donations can be brought to the Stourbridge News offices, at St John’s House, St John’s Road, Stourbridge, Dy8 1EH.

If you are carrying out an event to help raise funds for the Well of Life Appeal please call our reporter Dan Sharp on 01384 358223, or email with details.