Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Frankie builds dreams and makes a difference

I’ve made a difference, can YOU?
That’s a question Mama asks when speaking about her Happy House to groups or individuals.
Everyone who helps us makes a difference in the way they can and for that we are truly thankful
When volunteers come we hope that not only will they make a difference to our children’s lives, but that we will make a difference to their own.
When volunteer Frankie Asher left to go home, you could both see and feel the difference he had made.
He came for three months, leaving a high-powered job as a commodities broker in the City to do so.
And just how much he packed into that time, the kids loved him. His infectious enthusiasm , his sense of humour and his capacity for sheer hard work, won all our hearts .
Frankie didn’t  let the grass grow under his feet, he planted it. He started out with the idea of making a playingfield, which we badly needed, but a man who thinks big, he thought a football stadium would be achievable and Happy House FC was born.
We now not only have a football/sports pitch, but also a makuti roofed stadium, goalposts, nets, scoreboard and flagpoles.
Frankie managed the project, consulting with Mama on everything, and paid for it all himself. He worked alongside local tradesmen and labourers, rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in himself where he could and involving the children to give them a sense of ownership and pride.
The result is outstanding. Once the grass, which Frankie has arranged to have watered every day, is ready, we will be able not only to have our inter-Happy House football league, we will host matches with other schools and children’s homes, sharing what we have with the wider community – making a difference to more young lives.
Frankie didn’t stop there. With the trees cut down to clear way for the pitch he decided to use the logs to make a play area in the shade for the kindergarten children.
So he created KG castle – fenced with logs, some taller to give the impression of turrets, a  drawbridge  entrance, and the whole area has a deep covering of soft sand.
A winding galana path, with toddler height rails leads to it – making the walk there an adventure in itself. It is in use  for KG PE lessons and for play every break time, after school and at weekends providing an endless source of inspiration for imaginative play.
Frankie helped in school, he’s not a teacher but shared his talents to assist in classes.
Knowing the importance of good manners, he taught our boys to be chivalrous, to open doors for the girls and to let ladies go first.
 Frankie shared his love and his knowledge.
He endeared himself to everyone and his leaving was a very sad day - which will be reported here tomorrow.

Limavady takes us forward
Mama hopes, in future, to extend the play facilities here at the Happy House to give the children more opportunity to experience new and more challenging activities.
Limavady Rotary Club members have always been amazing friends to the Happy House and have had play facilities here at the top of their list. Now they will help us to make even more possible for our kids. Thank you Limavady for your continued support and for caring.