Note from Hart House Charitable Fund
It is with deep sadness and regret that we report the tragic death of Geoff Hunwicks, CEO of Hart House during the night of 9th to 10th January.
He had been suffering with various respiratory conditions for some time but these were under control through medication. He had then fallen ill with what he thought was severe food poisoning over Christmas and spent some days in hospital but by the time of his death he was back home and in his last communication with us he said that he was beginning to feel better.
When we set up Hart House Charitable Fund In 2015 as a group of our supporters in England its aim was to solely support Hart House, for the relief and assistance of the children cared for thereby providing grants of money and assets for the provision of education and accommodation for the children, including the costs of upkeep of buildings, payment of teachers and staff.
Since that time we have been sending monthly donations to Hart House which (because of the decline in tourism to the Gambia particularly following Covid) became the primary source of income for Hart House and allowed Geoff to keep the project in place right up until the day of his death when the facility was fully operational.
We had also been supporting Geoff as he attempted to put in place structures and systems that would enable the project to continue after his death and whilst a lot of progress had been made there are still outstanding complex issues that will need to be resolved before the facility will be able to reopen.
Whilst we would want the facility to reopen and continue to provide the only opportunity for respite care in The Gambia as a fitting tribute to the dedication of Geoff we are not currently in a position to fulfil the objectives of the fund and will therefore not be accepting any further donations until a sustainable future for Hart House in the Gambia has been established.
We will keep this page updated on any developments.
Welcome To Hart House in The Gambia
Hart House is a home for children with learning difficulties and disabilities in The Gambia, West Africa.
There is no doubt that all Gambian children (and any other child for that matter) have the right to be protected, educated, and cared for. Children with learning difficulties or disabilities are no exception.
Hart House is an officially registered charity (Registration number 110/2007 dated 13/03/07) in The Gambia and is a residential respite home located in Sinchu Alhagie. It is the only one of its kind in the country. Hart House was initiated in 2001 by Mr. Geoff Hunwicks, a British national, and his wife, Rohey, assisted by an executive committee and is charitable, i.e. we do not charge for children to attend.
HART HOUSE'S AIMS ARE:
To provide residential short-term respite care for Gambian children with learning difficulties.
To assess the developmental level of the children and to encourage them to reach their full potential by offering a varied and stimulating programme of activities.
To give hard pressed Gambian families a break from caring and to give feedback where appropriate.
To exchange information with other organisations and institutions in The Gambia who are also engaged in activities of a similar nature.
To stimulate local and national awareness of children with learning difficulties by involving the local Gambian community, including local children, within the activities of the home.
Hart House is open all the year round, except for a week at Koriteh and Tobaski (religious holidays) and public holidays if they fall on a Monday or Friday.