A KIND-HEARTED teacher has launched a festive appeal with help from his pupils to save areas of a Kenyan school facing closure.

Sam Forsyth, a biology teacher at Barnard Castle School and co-founder of Kipsaina Education and Environment Partnership (KEEP), is hoping to raise £10,000 towards a project to complete the renovation of a primary school in Kipsaina, Western Kenya.

The charity has already built two new classrooms and renovated a third, but the remaining school buildings are in urgent need of re-building and, unless the appeal is successful, face closure.

To help fund the project, KEEP has made a range of Christmas cards, in partnership with leading Newton Aycliffe-based manufacturer Roman.

A group of 18 Barnard Castle School pupils and teachers will be travelling to Kipsaina in the summer of 2020 to help carry out the renovation and construction work, building on a similar, successful trip in 2018.

The charity is also welcoming donations of reading glasses, which pupils of Barnard Castle School are collecting.

The glasses collected last year were distributed in Kipsaina village at a special eye-camp on Christmas Eve, giving the gift of sight back to hundreds of people.

Mr Forsyth said: “I set up KEEP in order to work in partnership with my inspirational Kenyan friend Maurice Wanjala. Maurice works tirelessly to improve his community and local environment, and is only held back by lack of resources. Establishing KEEP has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life as it has shown what a difference a relatively small amount of money can make to a community that is determined to make things better. Taking my own pupils to stay as part of this community has been life-changing for them too."

To donate or buy Christmas cards email sam@KEEPKenya.org or visit Barnard Castle School’s reception.