ALMOST four months after launching our Stourbridge News Well of Life appeal, the £10,000 target has been reached.

On March 5, the News joined forces with Ridgewood High School’s annual Project Gambia initiative after the school wanted to install a water pump and irrigation system for the village of Sintet.

Those dreams can now become a reality and the system – which has been sat in a German warehouse waiting for the appeal to hit the £10k goal – can be installed.

Thanks to the generous donations from hundreds of readers, residents of Stourbridge, fundraisers and beyond, we have hit the target quicker than many of us could have imagined.

Pete Wallace, assistant editor of the Stourbridge News, said: “All of us who have been involved in the appeal are over the moon to have been able to reach the target so quickly.

“I would like to thank all the staff and pupils at Ridgewood High School, my staff at the News and the local community whose hard work has really paid off.

“Most of all I want to thank all of you who have donated to the appeal, as we could not have been in this position if it wasn’t for you digging your hands deep into your pockets.

“However, we still have a number of fundraising events left to go and all the money that is raised will go towards upgarding the pump irrigation system and covering any extra costs.”

The initial stages of the water pump installation are already underway, as just under a month ago the £3,000 borehole which needed to be drilled to extract water from the ground hit the underground source.

Dr Ian Cole, an expert in solar energy at Loughborough University, will now head out to The Gambia to oversee the installation process and train the local people in how to use the system.

Ridgewood High School and the University of Gambia are also in talks to set up the pump as a research project, meaning the university would be responsible for monitoring the equipment.

The appeal is still collecting donations as the money will go towards any additional costs and also the continuing work of Project Gambia.

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.