IT has been a good news week regarding our Well of Life appeal, as the underground source of water - which will help a Gambian village throughout their dry season - has been reached.

The Stourbridge News appeal, in partnership with Ridgewood High School, aims to provide a solar-powered water pump and farmland irrigation system for the village of Sintet.

Two weeks ago, the News reported a borehole was about to be drilled to extract water from the ground, and now it has been confirmed that water was hit at 50m below the surface. This means the pump can be bought and installed as soon as the appeal raises the £10,000 needed.

The appeal is now tantalisingly close to the target following a very successful day of bag packing at Stourbridge’s Tesco Extra store. Pupils, staff and parents from the Wollaston school spent more than six hours helping the Crown Centre store’s customers and raised £770 for the appeal in the process.

Thanks to the bag pack, a £750 contribution from Kingswinford and Stourbridge Lions Club and a number of online and in-office donations, the total has now reached £8,774.

Pete Wallace, assistant editor of the Stourbridge News, said: “We are very grateful to Tesco and their customers for the donations they made to our appeal.

“It took me a good few hours after the bag pack finished to finally count up all the donations, as only £45 of it was in notes and the rest of it an amalgam of loose change.

“I have never seen so much silver and coppers in my life!”

The appeal fundraisers will be returning to the Crown Centre this Saturday (June 27) for another event day, featuring a tombola, book stall, children’s toy stall, games and African drumming from the stars of the Ryemarket event day – The Spirit of Djembe.

The event day will be based outside the Tesco store between 10am and 4pm.

Jayne Budd, community champion for Tesco Stourbridge, said: “Even though here at Stourbridge Tesco we don’t usually raise money which will be spent outside of the area, the appeal is being run by a lot of people from the community. It sparked something in me and made me really want to get behind it.

“It helps that the school is sending the money to The Gambia personally and by having the pictures sent back, we can actually see what the money is going towards and who the people getting help are. Hopefully we can raise as much money as we can to push the appeal total closer towards the target.”

You can help the appeal reach £10,000 by donating online at and donations can also be made on mobiles by texting PROG15 and the 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.