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U3A Writing: A Man With A Mission

Jennie Boothroyd tells of a marvelous man, Guildford Tompkins, who has helped to brighten the lives of thousands of Africans.

Guildford Tomkins is a normal Christian chap with a heart of gold, who lives in Lepton near Huddersfield. In 1983 he saw an appeal for help in relieving the poverty in Ghana. He and Jean his wife were so moved that they put together a box of food and other necessities which they sent off to that country. It cost him 80. Guildford received a letter of thanks which so touched his heart that he told his Methodist friends and from that small beginning came C.A.R.T. (Christian African Relief Trust).

Grounded in prayer a second consigment was sent to Africa from the church - seven boxes in all which included clothes and other essentials. Guildford spoke to various groups and offers of clothing came rolling in. He stored gifts in his shed and greenhouse but these soon became overcrowded. Eric Schofield a Lepton friend offered him the use of a chicken hut and that too soon became full.

In the beginning goods went via Essex but soon lorries were used to send them on their way. It was a big job, and volunteers prayed for a fine day when packing was due.

In 1989 Guildford, who knew the head of Bradley Infants School went to talk to the children and the response was wonderful. Other schools began to join in the scheme and the parish church in Lepton helped monthly with sorting and packing the clothing into apple boxes donated by the local supermarkets. A portion of a mill was used as a store for the boxes.

In 2000 a suitable property was located as a permanent base for C.A.R.T. It could be bought for 200,000. or rented for 16,000 a year. Guildford and his co-workers prayed about their decision. Eventually the property was bought for a much lower price. There is now a shop on the site which sells the goods not suitable to be forwarded to Africa.

In 2008 the average cost of sending a container to Africa was 6,265. The plan this year is to send 16 containers!

A local sixth form college - Greenhead College - produces a quarterly newsletter highlighting C.A.R.T's plans and work.

Letters of thanks are received from countries in all parts of Africa.

You can find further information on the web, www.cartyorkshire.co.uk

C.A.R.T is 25 years old this year.


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