A DONATION from the Deputy Mayor of Dudley has taken the News Group's Well of Life appeal total past the £7,000 mark.

The Stourbridge North and Lye Labour Councillor Mohammed Hanif handed over a cheque this week for £600, which he raised from his walk around the boundary of the old Lye and Wollescote parish.

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

The Well of Life appeal is just one of the projects currently being carried out by Ridgewood’s Project Gambia initiative which has helped many villages, schools and people across the West African country.

Cllr Hanif said: “I first moved to the UK when I was about 7-and-a-half years old, but the look of my school in Pakistan was very much that of the ones being helped by Project Gambia.

“I remember writing on a piece of wood with a handle on it. We would do a day’s work on that piece of wood which would then be washed at night ready for the next day.

“I am someone who supports any good cause which can help communities and children.

“When I heard about the Well of Life appeal and the work of Ridgewood’s Project Gambia I had a special feeling and connection with it.

“Seeing that it’s not just the well, but a multitude of projects that Project Gambia is carrying out has opened my eyes to the good work of our communities in Stourbridge.”

Cllr Hanif was joined on his seventh boundary walk by his daughter Sameenah, a former Ridgewood student, his niece Asmat, her daughter Aysha, and News reporter Nick Pullen.

The six-mile walk, which was taken from a map given to Cllr Hanif from a local historian, took the group two hours and 10 minutes to complete.

The deputy mayor’s donation has taken the appeal total to just £4 over the of the £7,000 mark, but you can help to push the tally toward the £10,000 target by donating online at www.justgiving.com/welloflifeappeal/ You can also donate on your mobiles by texting 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.