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Annual Report - Caterham Overseas Aid Trust

Caterham Overseas Aid Trust is an ecumenical local charity with volunteers from St. Mary's, St John's, the URC and the Sacred Heart churches working together with members of the local community to raise money to support carefully selected projects in the developing world. We finance simple, down-to-earth aid projects which are aimed at improving quality of life and use the maximum community self-help. We aim for our projects to become locally sustainable and we work through recognised non-governmental organisations (NGOs). All the money raised goes directly to the projects and we have no administration expenses.


Our financial year runs from 1st October to 30th September and ended with an income of £14,976.21 and disbursements of £15,918.11, using up most of the surplus from the previous year.   Full accounts can be seen on request.  

In 2015-16 COAT’s regular support for the following charities involved:

VSO (£3,000). Our volunteers are Paul Jennings, teaching advisor in Tanzania, and Alexa Vardy, an obstetrician at Abi Adi Hospital, Tigray in Ethiopia.  (Both have sent COAT detailed reports on their work, which are available on request.)

PRACTICAL ACTION (£3,000).   We have just started a three year project with Practical Action in the remote mountains and foothills of western Nepal working with 7000 poor rural farmers to increase their productivity of goats, vegetables and spice crops (particularly ginger and turmeric). Many of these are women-headed households and 'dalits' , the lowest caste and considered the untouchables.

WATER AID (£3,000):  We are supporting a five year project in Mali.

SELF HELP AFRICA (SHA) (£3,000):  Our money is supporting an ongoing project in Togo working on food security and income-generating schemes for over three thousand rural farming households. This covers everything:  increased production through drought tolerant seed such as millet, sorghum and maize, compost pits to produce organic fertiliser, planting trees, smokeless stoves and micro finance.

Other Projects

We also granted £500 to Tree Aid, £1,000 to Sightsavers, £1,000 to Transform Burkina and £250 to Tools for Self Reliance, plus £1,000  towards eight teachers’ salaries in Kimilili – five in adult education and three in primary.  We have also provided three months worth of food for pupils at the Sports for Christ Outreach Ministry (SCOM).

By using the government’s “Matched Funding” scheme COAT was able to double the amount Sight Savers and Practical Action received as a result of our donation.

Fund Raising

We receive regular donations from individuals and many “one off” donations.  Gift Aid of £1,168.62 was reclaimed.

We are grateful to St. Mary’s for their generous December retiring collection of £523.20 and for the money received as Formula Giving.

Our other money has come from the combined churches’ annual appeal, the Barn Dance, a Surrey Harmony concert, St. Swithun’s Ladies’ Circle, Mount Carmel, Caterham Carnival, Coulsdon Fete and the annual Street Collection.  

Special mention should be made of the boot sales, Ebay sales and scrap sales organised by Brian Holloway, and sales of marmalade by his wife Barbara.  

To find out more about our work , or to donate online, visit our website.

Margaret Deards

Chairperson: 01883 380104

Barbara Whiteford

Treasurer and St, Mary's Representative: 01883 340994

Brian Holloway

Car boot sale and Ebay sales and tools collected for Tools for Self Reliance

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