A CONTAINER full of donated goods is making its way across the seas to Africa thanks to kind-hearted mid Chehsire residents.

Members of Methodist churches in Northwich and Winsford joined forces to collect items and send them to be distributed between a variety of projects in Mombasa.

The container has been filled with about 35 cycles, 50 sewing machines, 10 large bundles of crutches and walking sticks, wheelchairs, workshop tools, gardening tools and more than 200 bags and boxes of clothing and school stationery.

It is currently on a ship named Maersk Surabaya, which is due to arrive in Mombasa mid January.

Gordon Atkinson, one of the organisers, said: “All these types of items can help transform life chances for young people by improving their mobility and by providing some basic equipment with which they can both train and then utilise skills.

“The response to our appeals for items has been very positive, almost overwhelming – so much so that we have actually more items than we can fit into the container which means we will need to try and send another one next year.”

The projects supported by the group include a feeding programme at a remote primary school, a HIV / AIDS counselling and testing centre, skill training workshops for marginalised young people, a school for handicapped children and an orphanage.

It costs £3,000 to fund a container, provided by donations from businesses and individuals, and the church members also send £500 a month to support staff at the HIV/Aids counselling centre and feeding programme at the school.