Archive for davidthorp

A New Start

Welcome to the brand new KickStart Ghana website, designed to provide information for potential volunteers and give you a really good idea of the things we do and what we’re trying to achieve. We’ve been working hard over the last few months to review our aims, improve our processes and make sure that we’re doing all we can to be a transparent and accountable organisation.

But why the change of name? Well, we feel that after establishing ourselves over the last few years we want to really make sure we’re giving the best representation of our mission, the objectives that we’re looking to carry out and the help that we need in trying to do this. That and we wanted a shiny, new logo. Shameless.

Our New Logo

On the website it’s our intention that you’ll be able to see where we’ve come from and where we’re trying to go. For volunteers, details of what you’ll be doing and the skills and experience that we require from you can be found on the volunteer in Ghana page. Those of you who want to get involved in fundraising can see the types of projects we try to undertake and why we need people to raise for us.

During the course of our rebrand there have been some fantastic examples of how volunteers are vital in helping us achieve what we do. In constructing the website itself Ben Bartle has been brilliant at listening to (and tolerating) our endless stream of ideas and has come up with an end product we’re really pleased with. Likewise, Mark Smith did a great job of taking the concepts we gave him and producing a logo that we can be proud to use when marketing our organisation. Verity Coles has helped produce a really informative and useful information pack for our volunteers, and Marion Coles has been extremely helpful proof reading our website prior to launch.

So take a look around the website, familiarise yourself with our goals and needs, and if you’re interested in helping out then feel free to contact us at

Happy reading!


The KickStart Ghana team


50 miles walking? Not for me thanks…

I’ve got a bad left knee. I’ve got problems with both my ankles and my left foot. For style purposes it’s capped off with shoulders that have been known to pop out of their sockets at their own convenience.

All of these things made me fairly happy about 4 weeks ago.

Weird? Yeah, sure. The reason is though that yesterday (Sat 14th May) Dave Coles walked from London to Brighton in a day to raise funds for Dave Squared. He suggested I join him, which was greeted with the response: “Ah, Dave, I’d love to, really I would. But my foots not going to hold up walking just under 50 miles in one day, you’ll have to find someone else I’m afraid.”

50 miles in one day. Somehow, I didn’t feel I was missing out. Dave managed to find a companion (Matt Ridley) to complete the walk with him, and their challenge is an example of the kind of fundraising we’ve been looking into since we gained our registered charity status. We have several people who have volunteered to raise money for us which will provide a valuable source of income to help support our projects going forward. We’ve had somebody do a bungee jump, somebody will be completing the Great South Run and even a brave Triathlon entrant.

The bungee jump I could handle, probably even enjoy. But a long distance run, triathlon or any other kind of long distance/endurance event will lead to me playing my injury based ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.

The funds from the bungee jump (undertaken by former volunteer Leila Malone) will be used to buy and install a water tank for a local children’s home in Ho. Water supply is intermittent and can be cut off at any time leaving the children and staff with a real need for clean water for drinking and washing. Without fundraising this kind of item would be much more difficult for us to finance.

Like Leila our fundraisers so far have mostly been former volunteers. This offers a nice way for people to continue to make a contribution even though they cannot spend more time in Ghana due to commitments back home like jobs and family. However, we do also have people get involved who have not worked with us before.

For our fundraising we work with Charity Giving, a website run by registered charity the Dove Trust. Charity Giving is in the mould of the well used/publicised Just Giving Website. However, the website takes just 3-4% of any money claimed on the Gift Aid Scheme, a much reduced payment than is required by other similar systems. If it is not a gift aid donation then no percentage is taken at all. This kind of setup is perfect for a small charity like us who need to make the absolute most of the donations we receive.

If you’ve read this and want to get involved with helping to fundraise for us then send us an email (info-AT-davesquared-DOT-org) and we can have a chat about how we can work together.

Next Monday I leave for Ghana and will be sending my next post in the next few weeks as we start to set out our plans for the summer. In the meantime though, if anyone has any ideas on activities with high fundraising potential/low physical impact, feel free to let me know…

Dave Thorp

This blog originally appeared on Do-it.