Preparing for the opening ceremony.
The new building was handed over by the contractor to the Kisiizi Senior Management Team on the 21st of April. The following week the patients were moved in to the new centre to the excitement of the staff and patients.
There is to an official opening ceremony on the 19th of May. It is expected that it will be opened by the prime minister of Uganda and over a hundred guests will be coming.
There is a group going out from the UK for the opening, including Avril and Jim Devaney, Hugh Burgess, the chair of the charity and John Taylor, the treasurer.
We are all looking forward to seeing the completed building with the patients and new furniture in place.
There are still ongoing discussions about a kitchen and there is some landscaping to be done.
Almost ready for hand over.
Hugh, the chair of Jamie’s Fund, and Ewan and Maureen were able to visit Kisiizi in November and it was very encouraging to see round the building, which is almost complete. We were able to do an inspection of the building to identify any issues and discuss with the staff what further developments were needed to make the building even better for them to work in.
The building looks very good and is a vast improvement on the old one. There is much more space, and there are separate male and female wards and toilets.
The builders are still building the retaining wall on the embankment at the back of the building. Above the retaining wall the earth will need to be trimmed back. The ground at the front will be landscaped.
We were able to attend a site meeting and so meet all those involved in the construction, and express our appreciation of all their work.
We also met with the hospital senior staff and we agreed what would be needed to equip the ward, so it would look good as well as being functional.
We are planning an official opening in May next year and that should be a memorable occasion
Jump for Jamie!
This was a very successful even on the 10th September when over 30 people abseiled down Halkyn Church tower. The weather was clear and dry which made it much more pleasant. For some people it took considerable courage to face their fears and to do do the abseil. We raised over £3,000.
Many people were involved in providing refreshments and other vital tasks. Thank you to all who contributed in any way.
Getting closer to completion.
The contractor is getting on well with the building. The roof and ceiling are on and the external doors and windows have been fitted. The walls are plastered. The wiring is making progress, as is the plumbing. See the photos below.
We discovered that although we had specified a water system, it didn’t include a hot water system. Oops! Fortunately this was pointed out before it was too late to easily include it.
There is still quite a bit to do internally. In particular the flooring takes a while to lay, and internal doors and other fittings need to be done before painting.
Externally it still looks like a building site and so we aren’t finished yet but it feels that the end is in sight.
“Brexit “ has had an adverse effect on the exchange rate with the Ugandan shilling, which is going to cost us around an extra £18,000. One of the many unforeseen knock on effects of that decision.
Fortunately we have had a few generous donations, which have helped the finances. We are still looking at a funding shortfall, but it is a much better position than we were in.
We still have to equip the ward and despite numerous requests for it, we still don’t have a costed list for this as yet. If you or your organisation would like to purchase a bed or beds, or any other equipment, perhaps in memory of someone, do get in touch
The building is progressing.
The contractor is making good progress with the building in the last few weeks. The walls have gone up rapidly. They are now fitting the beams for the roofing sheets.
It is exciting to see this rapid development!
There was a stream just in in front of where the building now is, which was diverted to enable the building to be put there. We are putting in a drain to make sure the land doesn’t get marshy in the wet season, and then we’ll fill over the drain so that the front of the building looks attractive and there is a flat area of grass for people to sit on.
As is often the case with building projects the costs of the building have increased significantly, as the design has had to be modified to some extent. We had not budgeted for some of the challenges of the site, such as the drainage and reinforced foundations that have been needed. We will be able to complete the centre but may not be able to do some other building that had been planned. These include a kitchen for the patients and carers to use and a shelter for people to sit outside and to have some shade from the sun.
Concert in Halkyn Church.
On Sunday 20th March, Cor Cilcain choir gave a concert in St Mary’s church in Halkyn in aid of Jamie’s Fund. It was an Easter meditation with an interesting variety of pieces and excellent singing, ably led by Malcolm Williams.
The audience were generous and appreciative, and a total of £505 was raised for Jamie’s Fund.
Getting the Building Started
The contractors started on the 25th of January and their first challenge was to put in an access road so that the site traffic didn’t have to pass between the hospital buildings. This involved building a 200m track from the main road into the back of the hospital. Once the building is complete it will be of use to the hospital at times to bring in materials
Materials are delivered by truck and have to be unloaded by hand as labour is cheaper than buying the machinery to load and unload pallets etc. Similarly, cement is mixed by shovel, rather than having a cement mixer.
Since then they have cleared the site and started digging the foundations. Unfortunately the ground is softer than anticipated which limits where the building can be put and how we can position the building. The foundations will have to be more robust to cope with the soft soil, which will push up the cost.
On the 6th of February there was a ground breaking ceremony. Sister Nancy the leader of the mental health service “broke the ground” and there were some speeches, including remembering Jamie who has been the inspiration behind this project.
The work has been continuing with all the foundations being dug and cement starting to be put in and then the brickwork starting to be laid.
Lunch is cooked on site in the open air, for the workers so they have a good meal and don’t have to go off site to try and find some food.
Latest on Fundraising
A Long Walk for Jamie
Hugh Burgess, Chair of Jamie’s Fund took three months away from his role as Priest in Charge of the Halkyn Mountain Parishes in North Wales to walk the 1500 miles to Santiago in Northern Spain. He started at the end of February 2016. He raised money for Jamie’s Fund while he walked.
You can read more about Hugh’s trip here in a very supportive article from “The Leader” and you can follow his blog to see how he coped with sun and the numbers of other pilgrims once he reached the more well trodden part of the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain, having walked from Halkyn to Southampton and much of the way down through France.
You can donate to Hugh’s “MyDonate” page in aid of Jamies Fund here OR cop
y the QR code below – please feel free to make it widely available!
Do you shop on the internet? If the answer is “Yes” then, for no extra cost or effort to you, it’s possible to raise additional funds for Jamie’s Fund as you shop. Simply register at Easyfunding.org.uk and install the browser tool. As you go to each retailer Easyfunding identifies the percentage of your purchase that the retailer is prepared to donate and this is transferred automatically to Jamie’s Fund. The donation from the retailer is generally between 0.75% and 5%.
By the end of January, 2015 we have already raised nearly £90 through this route – and remember, it doesn’t cost YOU a penny!
Sign up here and look for Jamie’s Fund to start contributing more!
We Still Need Your Help!
Although there is great progress towards completing the building of the new Mental Health Unit at Kisiizi we still need your help to ensure that the building is completed and fitted out to the highest standard, so please don’t stop your fundraising efforts!
It has taken longer to get to this point than we had hoped but a lot of people have worked very hard to get the project to this point and we are in the most exciting phase. Once the building is complete, mental health patients and their families can receive even more support from the great team at Kisiizi.
You can donate very easily on-line by clicking here… and please don’t forget to Gift Aid your donation if you can – it costs you nothing and significantly increases the funds Jamie’s Fund receives.
Let The Building Commence !
The contract for the construction of the new mental health centre at Kisiizi was signed on the 15th January, 2016 and a ceremony to mark the groundbreaking is planned for early February. We’ll post photos as soon as we have them.
The contractor is an experienced builder with good references, based only about 25 miles away from the hospital. This means that much of the money will go into the local economy, which is what we have always hoped would happen.
The builder was selected from a short list of 4 contractors by the management consultants in Kampala we are using, Aclaim Africa, and representatives from the Senior Management Team at Kisiizi Hospital. A thorough selection process was used to ensure the company had the necessary skills, experience, finances, and evidence of completion of good building on time.
The contractor has draw up a project plan which means that work should start on site at the end of January (subject to the weather, of course). Initial work will involve organising the site and putting in an access track to avoid having to bring all the materials through the middle of the hospital, with the associated noise and dust.
According to the project timetable, the building should take 6 months to complete, but, as with any building project, there may be some delays along the way, but we are looking forward to the formal handover of the new unit sometime in the third quarter of 2016.
Congratulations to Ewan, Bosco and Isaac on their marathon cycle ride through Uganda and Rwanda !
We set off from the guest house in Entebbe, Uganda in the cool of the morning and dropped down to the shores of Lake Victoria. Our bikes were loaded into a small boat and we puttered across the bay. We reassembled the bikes and panniers and set off down the dirt road on our journey to Kigali.
Avoiding the busiest, dangerous roads and using a
mixture of dirt and tar roads we wove our way south west across Uganda. Some of the dirt roads were hard going, rough with loose grit on top and with the occasionally steep hill. But we saw so much of rural life, away from tourist routes. Countless children were excited to see a “mzungu”, a white person, cycle past. We could hear the birdsong and identify a number of the calls.
We relished a glorious twenty mile descent the next morning, with views over the valleys at first and then becoming more restricted as we got lower. There were a number of men on bikes with 40 litres of milk on the carrier heading to Kigali. We kept pace with some of them for a while, they were faster on the descents than we were, with their greater weight, and we would overtake on the more level bits, where our gearing made the difference.
Have you considered giving regularly to Jamie’s Fund? If you would like to do this, please click on the button to download a Standing Order Form, complete it and send it to the Treasurer at the address on the form.
Remember every amount helps, however small or large! Thank you for your thoughtful generosity
Mental Health for Sustainable Development -
This report sets out three important arguments why mental health matters globally and why development activity will not be truly successful without tackling mental health issues and sets out four clear recommendations for ‘doing more’ and ‘doing differently.
JAMIE’S SHOP IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
You can buy an exciting range of merchandise in support of Jamie’s Fund. Initially we are offering a number of items of clothing as well as wrist-bands, some very special jewellery and, of course, the famous and much-in-demand “Cooking With Panache” recipe book.
If there are other items that you’d like to see in Jamie’s Shop then please contact us and let us know.
Thank you for your continued support – and don’t forget that you can donate at any time simply by connecting through the DONATE NOW button at the bottom of the page!
The Jamie Devaney Memorial Fund is a UK based charity supporting mental health care in Uganda. Join us!
The Fund is committed to working with mental health practitioners in Uganda in order to improve facilities and education as well as to provide assistance and resources to improve patient services. We hope that you will take time to look around the site and to connect to some of the links to other organisations involved in mental health work.
To help all people whose lives are affected by mental health conditions in Uganda.
Help us to fundraise by recycling old mobile phones and used inkjet cartridges*. Just click on the Recycle4Charity link below and register with them. By clicking on the link you will automatically register to support Jamie’s Fund. You can then order your freepost envelopes to send off any old mobiles and inkjet cartridges, helping to protect the environment and raise vital funds for Jamie’s Fund!
(*only applies to some inkjet cartridges, please check Recycle4Charity website for further details)