Bakewell charity raises record £15,000 for Rwanda

Charity founder Heather Thomas with some of the people the charity helps in Rwanda.
Charity founder Heather Thomas with some of the people the charity helps in Rwanda.

A Bakewell charity has revealed it raised a record £15,000 for communities in Rwanda during 2015.

The Goboka Rwanda Trust, which is based on Yeld Road in the town, says it has funded “incredible” projects in the war-torn East African nation with the money.

In the past few months, work has started on building a new health centre in Kaburiro and two village schools have now been hooked up to a water supply.

The £15,000 has been raised through a variety of fundraising events across Derbyshire.

The figure has been boosted with the help of Old Hall Junior School in Chesterfield, which raised more than £300 as part of a charitable mission during the summer term.

Cafe Rwanda sessions in Bakewell Town Hall have regularly raised more than £200 a month and an autumn barn dance in Ashover brought in £600.

And recently, a charity concert featuring Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mills band and Perfect Pitch choir in Bakewell raised £1,300.

Heather Thomas, who founded the charity, said: “We are thrilled to have raised £15,000 which will help communities in Rwanda.

“For a small charity that relies on local fundraising, this is a fantastic amount and will make a huge difference to the people in the areas where we work.

“We’re now looking forward to fundraising events in 2016 and are hoping to work with a Glossop charity called Mummy’s Star to hold a fashion show in the town in spring.

“This will raise the profile of the Goboka Rwanda Trust in a new area of Derbyshire, together with an established charity which looks after pregnant ladies and new mums who are diagnosed with cancer.

“The event will hopefully fund a mother and baby project in Rwanda, making it a great event for mums here and in Rwanda,” she added.

The Goboka Rwanda Trust was set up in 2009. It has partners in Rwanda who identify projects they would like the charity to support.

Heather added: “We are in no doubt that the best way the Goboka Rwanda Trust can help is to give the people of Rwanda what they most need – and who best to identify those needs than they themselves.”

If any Derbyshire groups would like to invite Heather to speak at one of their meetings in 2016, call her on 01629 813824.

For more information on the charity, visit