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Reporter flies to Uganda for paper’s playground appeal

A weekly newspaper reporter is visiting Uganda as part of a campaign to raise money for a charity that builds playgrounds.

Sam Blackledge, who is chief reporter at the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, made the journey this week as part of the paper’s Advertiser For Africa campaign, which is being run with local charity East African Playgrounds.

The weekly’s campaign was launched in March, and has raised more than £1,500 with events held by local schools, sporting clubs and community groups.

For the next two weeks, Sam will help out with the charity’s final project of the summer to create a playground in Iganga, reporting on how money raised is being spent.

Sam, right, is pictured with staff at Beatitudes charity shop in Dorking, who raised more than £80 for the campaign.

He said: “The Advertiser for Africa campaign has been a wonderful chance to improve the links between Dorking and Leatherhead and Uganda, and I am delighted we have managed to raise so much money.

“East African Playgrounds makes a real difference to the lives of hundreds of children, and I am looking forward to seeing their work for myself.”

Fundraising events for the appeal have included primary school pupils organising an Apprentice-style challenge, a celebrity football match and readers sending in photos of themselves doing star jumps.

Charity founder Carla Powell said: “We really hope that the Advertiser for Africa campaign has opened people’s eyes up to children’s lives in Uganda, inspired a young generation to dive in head first to the great adventures that travelling and charity work can offer, and shown people that children across the world all have the same desire to play and explore which in turn brings happiness and increases a child’s development.”

Sam will provide updates from Uganda for the Advertiser’s website and to make a donation, click here.