HUNDREDS of visitors to Stourbridge’s Crown Centre on Saturday put their hands in their pockets and dug deep for the News’ Well of Life appeal.

A variety of Ridgewood High School-run stalls, fun and games added much needed funds to the appeal.

The Well of Life appeal, in partnership with the Wollaston 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.

Tombolas, charity shops, games including a bottle hoopla, as well as African drumming, singing and dancing, all helped to set the scene for customers to get in the fundraising spirit.

The amount raised at the event day totted up to £500, pushing the total ever closer to the target figure.

C Sharp Music School in Stourbridge were also in the town centre raising funds on Saturday, as students went busking in the Ryemarket Shopping Centre.

The pupils played guitars, keyboards and pianos for two hours and were able to collect £111 for the appeal.

As well as Saturday’s activities, the appeal tally has also been boosted thanks to a £750 donation by Kingswinford and Stourbridge Lions Club.

The club, which is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary, donated a proportion of profits from its 5th annual plant sale.

Mary Thompson, club president, said: “Our plant sale strap line is ‘this year, make the money you spend on plants make a difference’.

“So the club was happy to donate some of our plant sale proceeds to help with such a worthwhile and life-changing project.”

Bev Hodt, Ridgewood assistant headteacher and Project Gambia leader, said: “We are very grateful for the support of the community who have donated throughout the last few months to our appeal.

“I’d like to pass on my thanks to Faith Sax and the Spirit of Djembe African Drummers, Debbie Foxall of C Sharp Music School, Stourbridge’s Tesco branch, the local Lions Club and the Stourbridge News for their continued support."

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.

Cheques need to be made payable to Project Gambia Trust Ridgewood, and you’ll need to write Well off Life Appeal on the back.