Sunday, 15 August 2010

one man's campaign to build an orphanage in Cambodia

FourSquare Innovations is sponsoring Shaun Prest in his one man journey to build an orphanage in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. This is his story:

My name is Shaun Prest, a 38 year old electrician from Halifax, West Yorkshire.

I first visited Sihanoukville, Cambodia five years ago and while there I became aware of the plight of the beach children living there. One little girl in particular caught my attention. She earned her keep acting as a pair of eyes for her blind uncle who in turn scratched a living by singing songs for tourists and through begging. At the time I gave all I could, but after returning to the UK I decided to try and help in a more practical and extensive way.

Last year I raised funds with a sponsored motorcycle ride across Cambodia . With this I purchased 300 colouring books and 300 felt tip pen sets took this with me along with $600.00 dollars when I set out on my journey across Cambodia in February 2009. This time I paid for everything myself including the tickets, pens and colouring books and all the other fees came out of my own pocket from money saved working back in England.

After arriving in Cambodia I first made my way to Phnom Penh and started out by making donations to the single street mums there. Then I made may way up to Siem Reap to river village and handed out colouring books and money donations to all the river houses there via a boat. On th next leg of my journey I made my way back down to Sihanoukville having completed the sponsored motorcycle trip. Here I handed out the remaining colouring books to the beach children on Ocheateal beach.

This year in april 2010 I returned to Cambodia with another load of colouring packs (600) which I took to several orphanages in Sihanoukville, whilst also going to see the homeless family I visit every year with books. This family was forcibly evicted from their homes in 2006 resulting in two of them dying and several of the children were taken off to so-called rehabilitation which in reality is prison. I spent a lot of time helping the families in April, May and June of this year. These families now live in tents and only manage to survive by sending their children out to collect empty tin cans and weighing them in in return for rice. I returned to the UK on the first of July and the following week received an email saying the family have been evicted again and are living at the side of the road in tents now.

After the Khmer Rouge were ousted in 1979 the government made a law stating that anyone who has settled and been in the same plot of land, and can prove it, then the land becomes their property by right. This was a measure taken to undo the Khmer Rouge’s seizure of land and property under Pol Pot. It is incredible that 30 years later the people of Cambodia are still being forcibly removed from their homes and land to make way for developers.

My colouring books don’t seem to be enough now so I am aiming higher and I have teamed up with a lady who has the same interests in helping the Otres beach children as myself. Together we are trying to raise funds to build an orphanage for the beach children. I am in need of any donations that you may be able to give. This is a really important cause with a chance to make a difference to a lot of people. If you can help please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Shaun Prest August 2010


Read the Halifax Courier article on Shaun here:

Read the Huddersfield Examiner Story here:

Find the orginal article here: Cambodian Orphanage Appeal

FourSquare Innovations LLP - the software training people

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Leeds Wired City Reconnected Event Wednesday 29th September

Wired City Reconnected

LEEDS Wired City Reconnected

Stop Press: Newly posted Oldham Wired City Reconnected event video created for Oldham Partnership :

Date: Wednesday 29th September

Time: 6 - 8pm

Venue: The Round Foundry, Media Centre, Foundry Street, Leeds LS11 5QP

Background: The Wired City Reconnected events are ‘collaborative’ networking events aimed at the digital, creative and ICT businesses interested in potential collaborations or the chance to share and exchange ideas. The events are facilitated by Les, Fiona and Immy, who will provide a bespoke matching & introduction service prior to the event. So whether your business has a current skills gap or you are looking to collaborate with others to meet new or current clients’ needs, these events are for you. Wired City Reconnected events are all about making the best use of your time, by providing an invaluable networking opportunity.

Book a place: please follow this Link to Leeds WCR Event

Delegates are charged £15.00. However if you book online up to one week before the event delegates are only charged £12.50. This fee covers liquid refreshment, buffet and an business introductory / matching service.

If you have not had the opportunity to look at the new promotional video, or are interested to attending your first event and would like to know more then please follow the attached link Wired City Reconnected Event Video (This video was produced in collaboration with SPL Communications)

Here are some of the previous delegates comments:

What the Oldham Chronicle said after visiting the Oldham event in January 2010 Oldham Chronicle Report

Rowena gives an account of her first Manchester Wired City Reconnected event.

Julies comments on first visit to Preston Wired City Reconnected:

Sarah’s comments on Manchester Wired City Reconnected:

WE are Supported by:

This events official Sponsor is Round Foundry Media Centre

The following organisations have previously sponsored or supported the Wired City Reconnected Events; Yorkshire Events: Cobbetts LLP, Montpelier, McParland Finn Ltd, Electric Work (Sheffield)

North West: Manchester Science Park; Manchester Digital; Manchester Digital Development Agency, Preston City Council; Oldham MBC; Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council; Creative Lancashire; Hive Network: Lancashire & Cumbria ICT Clusters; Blackpool; CrISP; THE Storey CIC, Business Link (Digital and Creative Sector Team) SPL Communications; Cobbetts LLP; Montpelier, McParland Finn Ltd; TalkInternet

Other Forthcoming Events:

Future events:

Manchester Wired City Reconnected on Thursday 23th September at Manchester Science Park, Lloyd Street North, Manchester M15 6SE Link to Manchester WCR Event

Liverpool Wired City Reconnected on Thursday 7th October (Venue to Confirmed)

Sheffield Wired City Reconnected on Wednesday 27th September at Electric Work, Sheffield Link to Sheffield WCR Event

Friday, 6 August 2010

Felix Dennis At the Birdcage Leeds

An evening of fine French wine and poetry from one of Britain's best-loved poets.

Felix Dennis is setting out on a 21-date poetry reading tour to launch his sixth book of verse, Tales From The Woods. Did I Mention The Free Wine? 2010 Tour will see the poet return by popular demand to major cities such as London, Cardiff, Dublin, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as new stops in Newcastle, Ludlow, Milton Keynes and Cork. Felix Dennis will be reading a selection of poems from his hugely popular collections, Homeless in My Heart, A Glass Half Full, Lone Wolf, When Jack Sued Jill and Island of Dreams, all of which were sell-out books of original poetry. He will also be introducing his new collection of poems in an exclusive preview ahead of the book's launch on 28th October.

He will be performing at the The Birdcage, Leeds on Monday 4th October 2010.

Don't miss out on the poetry event of the year and book your ticket now!
Tickets prices: £10 pre-booked online or £12 on the door, £5 concessions. To book tickets go to:

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