India update - 7th May 2021
As you may be aware, India is in crisis because of the outbreak of COVID. We have been able to contact the staff at Scott Lane School to find out how it is affecting them. The children have not been to school for over a year, but the teachers are faithfully going to the school 3 times a week to give parents work for the children to complete at home. This is very dedicated of the teachers as they have to travel quite a distance to get to the school. We have been told that the situation is very bad in Kolkata but, to date, the staff and families of Scott Lane have kept well.
Mrs Winson-Bushby and Mrs Hodgson were very pleased to be able to have a Zoom chat with two of the teachers, thanks to the assistance of the Headteacher of another school with the technology and internet. It was so great for them to see each other and be reassured that all were (at that time) well.
On Saturday 8th May the team of Derbyshire teachers who visit Kolkata will be having a Zoom call with the Director of the Cathedral Relief Service in Kolkata where they will find out more about what is happening there.
If you feel able to do so, please consider supporting one of the charities that have set up fundraising specifically in response to the Indian crisis. Here are some links which may be helpful.
STOP PRESS: APRIL 2021!
This is the link to a JustGiving page that will directly support our friends in Kolkata.
The news is full of recent developments in Kolkata and we are keen to support the communities where our schools are based, knowing that these are amongst the poorest in Kolkata. If you are in a position to contribute, this would be hugely appreciated. Thank you.
Easter 2021 UPDATE
Mrs W-B and Mrs Hodgson had a fantastic opportunity to meet their fellow teachers from Kolkata over WhatsApp at Easter-time for a catch up. The Head Teacher of St Paul's - the paying school which allows Scott Lane School to use a classroom - welcomed the teachers and offered the use of her computer and internet link to make this possible.
We learned that the students are still learning from home, and that their parents are making their way to the school every 2 days to pick up work and receive instruction from the Scott Lane staff. Our teachers are currently well and it was a joy to chat with them, even at this most difficult time.
Kolkata Appeal Details
To contribute to the appeal - to fund medical and food supplies to support 1600 families in our partner areas in Kolkata, please contact Mr C Brown at
- he will be very happy to share with you how to help. Many thanks!
Rig has been authorised to go into Hastings and Brace Bridge this week, supported by the police and army (to enforce social distancing) - beginning to take in much needed supplies.
We have heard from Rig, our link in Kolkata and the Director of the CRS. He is planning to take medical and food supplies to 8000 people - 1600 families, based in the areas we have links with (Brace Bridge, Hastings and 10 others - places in which the children have a great interest), as soon as the lock-down is ended and he is allowed to travel.
This support for some of the poorest in Kolkata will cost the CRS £11,500.
Should you be in a position to be able to support this work, there has perhaps never been a more significant moment to do so, and any contribution at all will be gratefully received. Details of how to contribute will be posted soon, so please watch this space.
With many thanks for your support of these communities,
Mrs WB and Mrs H
Update - Our Friends in Kolkata and the Current Situation
We are of course, thinking very much of our friends in Kolkata at this difficult time for all communities. We are receiving sporadic updates, and so will try to update this page as often as we have anything new to share.
Kolkata, like the rest of India is in lockdown. Rig David, the Director of the CRS and our trusty link person, has let us know that he is trying to ensure that food supplies reach the project areas, especially Brace Bridge and Hastings (the community by the railway tracks, and the one in the underpass).
Should it become possible for funds to be sent to support these communities via the CRS, we will update this page with details. I am sure that our friends in Kolkata will appreciate any prayers on their behalf, that you may wish to support them with - many thanks.
In 2018 St. John's CE Primary School and Nursery and St. Peter's church in Belper, began working with the Cathedral Relief Service in Kolkata India. This link was made possible through the Diocese of Derby who facilitate and support many Derbyshire schools in making friends in Kolkata.
The objectives for our international link is to -