THE Lytham St Annes School in Nepal will be officially opened next month – after a three-hour trek on foot by a St Annes charity chief.
Situated in the remote village of Gaushwara in the Ramechhap district of the Himalayan country, the school has been named in honour of a sterling fund-raising effort to build it by management and customers of a restaurant in St Annes.
Little more than a year after the bosses of the Zen eaterie in Wood Street handed over a cheque for the cash raised, the junior school is ready for use.
It’s the 14th school to be built in Nepal by the St Annes based-charity Development of Children and Women Centre (DCWC) and the £5,000 raised covers building materials.
Gary Collier, who founded the charity 11 years ago, will head to the site of the school early next month and perform the opening ceremony on February 10.
The Ramechhap district is some 1,218 metres or 3,999 feet above sea level and the terrain is so mountainous that a special bridge had to be built to allow materials to be transported to the site of the school.
The site is so remote that Gary and his companions – including two DCWC trustees from Blackpool, David Underwood and David O’Neill – will have to complete the final leg of their journey with a three-hour walk.
“We can only get so far by vehicle and we will have to walk the rest of the way,” said Gary. “We will stay overnight before another three-hour walk back to the vehicle and then it is on to the next destination.”
Gary and his companions are spending a total of 18 days in the area and are to attend a festival to mark Tibetan New Year the day after the school opening. Their time in Nepal is sandwiched in between brief visits to India.
The Lytham St Annes School will consist of three classrooms and will cater for around 100 primary school age children with the teaching staff provided by the Nepalese government.
Gary said: “The locals have really taken the school to their hearts and are so much looking forward to it being in operation. And we are delighted that the Zen Restaurant have vowed to continue to help with it once it is up and running.”
The Zen Restaurant is currently closed for its mid-winter break until January 29 and no-one there was available for comment.