CHALLENGE 4000 2019
CHALLENGE 4000 2019

Our team

Consists of a team of competent, committed and erm experienced people. Allow us to introduce them to you on this page.

Fiona Nelson

Team medic


Specialist areas

Making sure we take all of our pills and potions!



Full name Fiona Mary Elizabeth Nelson. Born in Nigeria in 1962. Lived there till I was 18. Went to boarding school from the age of 6 at St. Annes College for girls, in Lytham St. Annes. Left school at the grand age of 15.5 spent 6 months in Nigeria waiting to be old enough to start college in Blackpool! Did my OND in hotel management and Catering, worked hotels for a few years, before doing some well odd jobs! Worked in a wildfowl park, relief postie, ran a bike hire business, sold Flo Gas, worked at Inveraray Jail, managed Mid Argyll Swimming Pool, first aid trainer at Northumberland Police and eventually ended up self employed running Training for Life delivering first aid courses of all levels across the country. Hobbies - Drove Autocross competitively for a good 7 years competing in the Scottish and National events. Love my rear wheel drive cars!! Competed in a Escort Mk1, Escort Mk11 and a rear wheel drive fiesta, mid engine 1600 crossflow...... work that one out! Love animals, swimming, red wine and curries. and as most of you know founded First Aid 4 Gambia and now look after Jarrol Project. I have 2 sons Iain Hunt and Finlay Hutton, not much of an age gap only 19 years!! I live in Inveraray, Argyll err and can not think what else I should say!! Well think that's enough info about me!!!




Charlie Denny

Team punch bag


Specialist areas

Getting us lost!



I am Charlie. I was born in Edinburgh in 1973, My home has always been in Lanarkshire however I did various stints at different bording schools until I settled at 13 in Northumberland. at 16 I went to Canada to study A levels. I then attended college as a trainee Manager for the catering industry and at 21 moved to Braemar to work as a General assistant in a hotel, it was a temporary contract but 24 years later I am still in Braemar!

I have been a shop assistant, a mechanic, a handyman, a bus driver and I am now a minibus driver for a daycare centre and cover dial a ride shopping trips.

I have driven to the Gambia twice 2012 and 2014 we tried a trip in 2016 but had a disaster when the vehicle we were taking decided it didnt want to go!

I will try not to get us lost!






Vicky Lang



Specialist areas

The one who nags (Vicky's words not mine)



So here we go Name Vicky Lang, Born in Aberdeen in 1977. I Have lived in Braemar for the last 36 years on and off. Have and HND in Architectural Technology, which was gotten from Robert Gordons University in Aberdeen. Have held a full British driving licence since I was 17, passed after my last exam at Secondary School. Have worked in Southern Ireland for 2 years then in the North Yorkshire for 11 years. Now work in Angus for the local council.

I have been to the Gambia once 4 years ago and found the journey down very interesting as we were in an old Land Rover Ambulance. Luckily the door tops came off, so we could get some air. The reception that we got in the Gambia by the local was one of friendship. Was unable to go on the last trip 2 years ago due to health problems so looking forward to this journey.



Findly Hutton

team medic's assistant


Specialist areas

unknown as yet!



I am Fin, I will be into my teens when we leave, I am a bit of an old hand at travelling! I have been travelling to Gambia since I was 3 years old and lived big chunks of each year since out there. I Actually attended most of my Primary years at schools in Gambia. I am Now attending Lochgilphead High School in Scotland and having to stay put until I finish! I eat everything and anything, I love computer games and also love music. I am going to be the apprentice on the trip! Checking oil and fluid levels, tire pressures and generally doing as I am told! Where ever Mum (Fiona) goes I am never far away!

June Eades




Specialist areas

My speciality area's will be driver I love driving to new places so this is going to be my greatest challenge yet. I don't mind being the washer upper (not too fond of cooking lol). I will do my upmost to keep everyone motivated and happy. I can put my hand to almost anything I will muck in wherever needed.




Full name June Elizabeth Anne Eades. Born in Dudley in the West Midlands in 1972 but have lived in Telford for 41 years. Finished high school and had children quite young they are now 27 & 22 and have 2 beautiful granddaughters Sofija 8 and Bella 3 who are my world. After 23 years of relationship I became single and love being my own person and only having to answer to myself. I was In and out of various jobs after leaving school until I went back to college to go on to do my 3 years nurse training (didn't qualify at the end but i won't go into that). After various different jobs including dinner lady and working on a butty van I settled in an office job with Schneider Electric where I have just had my 10 year anniversary. As well as my full time job I also do a part time job caring for the elderly in their own homes which I love because it's always good helping them maintain their independence I find it very rewarding. I LOVE travelling and have done a lot of it in the last 7 years which is where I fell upon The Gambia and instantly fell in love with the place and it's wonderful people. I am very much a people person and find I get along with everyone because I'm an easy going type of person and easy to talk to. I love animals and have one dog called Betty she is my youngest child lol. I admire Fiona for what she has and is doing in Jarrol and during my two trips to Jarrol have see how much difference she makes to the lives of residents there and feel privileged to be able to help and make a difference too. I'm so excited for this trip of a lifetime and look forward to the journey with you all.



Kim Bowskill



Specialist areas




My full name is Kim Bowskill born in Sheffield in 1958, Sshhh don't tell anyone.
I have 3 amazing kids whom I'm so very proud of. They have blessed me with 9 beautiful grandkids and frequently see them and at times need juggle while their mum's and dads are busy working, saving a small fortune on child care.
Married and divorced twice....happily.
I have been traveling to Gambia for almost 11 years and have been involved with a few small charities during that time.
Four years ago I met the lovely Fiona and cheeky chappie Finley. And so was my first visit to Jarrol and incredibly dirty feet. I was so privileged then and now I'm so excited to have the opportunity to take part in this incredible journey
I enjoy driving and will certainly do my share.
I would offer to do some of the cooking but "too many cooks" phrase comes to mind. So will chip in wherever im needed.



Doug Hamlen



Specialist areas




Hi folks my name is Doug i am 51 years young(we dont have to grow up do we?).I left school started a plumbing apprenticeship sadly the company i was doing it with failed.Then worked at a place that manufactured and installed pond and reservoir liners,did this until old enough to drive HGV .Worked for a waste disposal company for 13 years hauling anything from sewage to cyanide (interesting at times)got fed up with being stuck in traffic jams.Went back to the building trade working for a friend of the family who made big promises(mistake)or maybe not.Went self employed fitting bathrooms and kitchens during the winter and hard landscaping during the summer patios ponds water features etc.In 2007 had a chance to do my dream job skipper of a charter fishing boat could have done that if i wasnt self employed so every cloud.I live aboard the vessel San Gina from May to end of September plenty of fresh fish and sea air.I have traveled quite a bit but The Gambia and its People have won my heart.Some of you may know about my head shave fund raiser last year in the middle of this was already thinking about the next one which would involve driving to the Gambia.Then Charlie Denny came up with this so straight away asked to join the team and yes it will be in a Three wheel reliant Rialto should raise awareness lol.Have always been one for old cars my Landy is as old as me so quite handy with the spanners.Also love cooking over an open fire so hopefully be able to assist our resident chef  Iain will turn my hand to anything.My late mother always used to say "People before possessions memories before money" This is a guide i like to live by so always willing to help in anyway i can look forward to meeting you all.(Wow that was longer than i thought it would be Sorry)


Rose Hamlen



Specialist areas




A big hello to you all my name is Rose born in 1963 1 half of a pair i have a twin sister.I am happily married to Doug Hamlen and we have two wonderful children Gemma 28 and Davey who is 24 love them both to bits.After leaving school i started at a local electronics and semi conductors factory,still there after a break of 8 months when my daughter was ill (people get less for murder)Have visited quite a few places mainly Europe but furthest afield being Australia.We first visited the The Gambia in 1989 on our honeymoon we went back for our silver wedding anniversary and have been returning since.The second year back we met the lovely Maggie Styche and Jaqs the following year we met Fiona for the first time when she picked up some donations we had brought with us.Start of last year we spent a couple of long weekends up at Jarrol one of which i helped Doug glaze the new pharmacy.I love to help anyone that needs my help espcially the children.Looking forward to getting to know you all on our great adventure.Willing to help in anyway i can and will always do my best for the team.



Maggie Styche



Specialist areas




Hi I’m Maggie & I think I’ll be the eldest going as 63 years old now.
I’m a mother of 2 daughters & Nan of 3 plus I have a foster daughter,grandson & soon to be 2 great grandchildren.
Started work at 15 & finished at that time when the girls were young I’ve done all sorts cleaner bar staff waitresses was a youth worker in my 20’s then worked nights in a factory for 10 years to get a mortgage.
Started fostering when I was 42 & had my mother & baby placement till they went to independence then I joined the emergency duty team taking kids from 0 to 17 a real challenge at times.
At the age of 60 I decided I wasn’t working any more sold my house & now live on the proceeds till I get my pension at 66

I’ve been coming to The Gambia on holiday for about 24 years & this is my 3rd year of living the dream here.
Looking forward to meeting those I don’t already know & being of any help & support I can,,prep kitchenhand to Ian & Doug maybe as well as making sure we are all well hydrated by being water/drink monitor



Jacqueline Bottomley



Specialist areas




Single, age 55, 2 lovely grown up kids, 1 daughter at home, 1 son married & living in Canada with 1 most perfectly delicious grandson. Varied career, started working life as a medical research lab technician, got worried I’d end up growing a beard & wearing sandals with socks so became an emergency service call operator. Started my own motorbike business (full bike license), sold that, bought a vehicle repair garage. One of the founders & chairman of a charity in TG for 4 years which is still thriving with a nursery, lower basic school & clinic but I stepped down a few years ago. Got fed up of all work & no play (adulting is seriously overrated) so 5 years ago I bought a tiny house, gave up work, & never looked back spending most of each winter in Gambia. When I’m not traveling I foster dogs for a local rescue & eat lots of choklit biskwits whilst cuddled up with the pooches. My role on the team will be driver, (specializing in check point charm) & generally taking the pee out of Kim Bowskill. At no point should I be given sole responsibility of anything extremely important that must not be lost.



Becky Headley



Specialist areas




Full name Rebecca Clare Headley but PLEASE call me Becky! Born at Shrewsbury Hospital and have lived all my life in Telford (bar 6 months in Salford when I went to uni!). I'm 37. Graduated uni in 2002 with a BA Hons in Social Policy.

No children but the most beautiful niece and nephew who are my absolute world. I'm the eldest of 6....1 brother and 4 sister's. We're a close family.

June is my bestest friend in the world and my travel buddy! We go away on holiday together every year and she's who I enjoyed my first Gambia experience with and I definitely wouldn't be doing this trip without her! I fell in love with Gambia the very first time. A beautiful country with beautiful people. And Jarrol stole my heart.
Me and June also work for the same company Schneider Electric where I've worked for the last 13 years (not bad considering I gave myself 6 months to find another job ?

You will learn quickly that I'm an emotional person! I don't like mornings and I like my sleep!!
I don't drive but I'm VERY organized. Don't mind cooking and clearing up after (you get used to that being part of a big family!) I'm not too bad at putting up a tent or shopping for food and finding a bargain! And I'll be the one with all the baby wipes and hand gel!
I'm a people person. Chatty. LOVE listening to music and believe I can sing.....I can't but I don't care!!

I'm excited and looking forward to this trip of a lifetime, sharing these experiences with you all

Jillian McCreery






Hi, I am Jillian, born in 1960 and lived in Yorkshire most of my life. I now live in Inveraray and it has been my home for the past 20 years. I am a mother to 2 girls, Granny to 2 grandsons and Foster mum to Lachlan. I have done many things, including landscape gardening, assistant buyer for childrenwear, mental health nurse and home carer.
I recently qualified as a First Aider with Fiona and will be using these skills in my job as a Coastguard. I am Station Officer for Inveraray CRT. As part of my remit I am available for emergency call outs relating to Search Water Rescue 24/7.
I enjoy driving and have held a license for 40 years. I am very adaptable and willing to turn my hand to anything.

Dan Maddocks






I'm not overly sure what to write so cue the verbal diarrhoea.

Despite my grey hairs I'm thirty years young. I was born in Crewe 1988 and went to Malbank school and sixth form, until I moved to Telford during my GCSE's. In Telford I have studied a diploma in Public Services (no, not a bin man diploma) and Music Practice. I am currently studying a HE diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. I have an older and a younger sister and my family is quite spread out and independent. I have no children, but I do have two quite delightful and charming little nephews/rapscallions.

Becky and June both have the pleasure of working with me at Schneider electric... Previously I have worked for Morrisons PLC as the one true Deli Master. I have been a volunteer at the Princes Royal Hospital, worked with various schools with community sports awards and I am currently a volunteer counsellor at the YMCA.

I have travelled Europe, played in an amateur rock band, I understand how to use a compass and map, I own a full, clean UK driving licence, I have owned a certificate in first aid (admittedly it has expired which I will endeavourer to update), I am a fervent reader of philosophy and psychology, particularly enjoying existentialism, phenomenology and humanism. I like poetry, chess, ale, pizza... I'm a camping adventurest -enthusiast experienced in climbing mountains, traversing woodland, making fires, fixing tents and general maintenance, and now I will assiduously endeavour to raise money for challenge 4000!

I have never been to Africa so I will keep my fingers crossed!

Dougie Feltham





My name is Dougie Feltham I am a 50 year old company director from lochgelly in Fife. My company is DSM Joinery Contractors we supply joiners to several national house builders ( barratt , Cala, Avant). This is the reason I’m lucky enough to take time off to help deliver your vehicles to Gambia.
I live with my partner Claire Duffy in a house we built together 3 years ago. Between us we have 3 kids. I have 2 daughters , Becky (19) and Jodie (17) with Claire having a son called Ross (33).
 My passions and hobbies are travel and off-roading although hopefully the latter won’t be involved in December..... I’ll try my best to stay on-road!
I am a member of several off road clubs and try to get out playing in my jeep at least once a month work permitting. I have marshalled once at a hill rally in Galashiels and because of this or a liked Facebook page.... this was how I seen Charlie’s plea for a driver to assist.
I have undertaken several road trips previously and am quite used to driving abroad. I have driven to Portugal Spain and France before and myself and Claire were in America earlier this year driving route66 from Vegas to Palm Springs. I hope this gives you a little insight into who I am and I look forward to finding out about the rest of the group on the road down if not before. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.


Kim Wrighton





Hi I am the other Kim

Born in Glasgow 1960. Left school pregnant at 16, no qualifications and had a shotgun wedding, I have a beautiful daughter and an amazing 6 year old granddaughter Beau.
I started working as a cleaner and eventually moved up to Manager in the hospitality trade. Divorced after 13 years.
Met husband number 2 in Corfu and we both moved to London to work.
Fed up with the rat race we bought a big old house here in Central Portugal  7 years ago where we both ran our own guesthouse.
Seperated 2 years ago and running the guest house solo now.
Been visiting Gambia since 1999.
I have plenty of experience of ambulances but unfortunately only being a patient in the back with 2 near death experiences !!
I love to cook , I love to clean, and happy to muck in when needed.
Looking forward to this opportunity and to meet you all in December.



Donald Stewart




Awaiting Information!




Grahame Ross







Most significant accomplishments to date have been birth, marriage and divorce. ( I have certificates of proof for all three !)

Other memorable awards include my Cycling Proficiency at age 7 and 50m Front Crawl at age 10.Although quite proud of these achievements at the time they did not propel me into a lifetime of Olympic Golds.

There is however one ‘badge’ which HAS lasted a lifetime....”Helping Others”...gained from the Cub Scouts in 1975.... it continues to give the most satisfaction.


I left school ( by mutual consent) in 1983 with the proverbial “could do better” hanging over my head and took the first job which was offered to me. I flourished in the workplace though, keen to prove my abilities, and at the age of 22 became the youngest Transport Manager within our multi national company!...big pat on the back all round !... .but... it turned out to be a double edged sword !... as I thought I had ‘made it’ , got the cigar out and basically stagnated for 10 years. The birth of my 3 wonderful children, Melissa, Christopher and Nathan was probably the only real memorable event during this time. From the outside it looked as though I had it all !...but from the inside...mmmm

Anyway, fast forward and some  monumental events coincided which would radically change my way of thinking and my life, forever.

After a knee jerk reaction of disappearing to live and work in London for 1 year ( I hated it !)..I returned and went to University to complete an MA in Sociology ( oooh, “he’s got an ology” boasted my mum !..although she still has no clue what it’s about!)

After taking myself out of my comfort zone once, it began to get a lot easier ! and I started to enjoy red wine instead of beer!...filter coffee instead of Nescafe, reading books, climbing mountains, running marathons, playing tennis, physio at my local football club ( so if anyone needs a massage !),writing reports for the local newspaper, coaching kids at my local Sports club, traveling......the latter of these ‘enlightenment's’ soon became the focus of my attention....working with kids and traveling!...and after some studying of my own, I taught at Private schools in China and Indonesia (offered a job at a University in Indonesia which I sadly had to turn down at the time),taught privately in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia and lived and worked with Chinese Haka people in Hong Kong, volunteered with kids charity organizations in Philippines and Cambodia.

Will leave some of the stories for later but I have also lived and worked in a Monastery in Sardinia, got lost climbing Germany's highest mountain ( the sign saying “WELCOME TO AUSTRIA” was the giveaway!), completed one of Europe's toughest walks and volunteered at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games where I was in charge of Transporting the team of athletes from Antigua and Barbuda ( if anyone fancies a Caribbean holiday...I have the contacts, man !)

My personal journey is only just beginning but with every turn I learn more about myself and our world. I am very grateful and privileged  for this opportunity to accompany you on this amazing adventure and promise...” to do my best to God, The Queen and The Team “...dib, dib, dib....

Print Print | Sitemap
© Charles Denny