Help make dreams come true


An Uckfield organisation is inviting people to help make someone’s dream come true in the town.

Since 2009, Uckfield Rotary Club has offered £1,000 each year to a local young person from Uckfield or nearby villages aged from 16-25 to help them fulfil a long-held ambition.

Called ‘Making Dreams Come True,’ the scheme was first set up after the death in June, 2008 of Daniel Gamble in Afghanistan. The young Uckfield rifleman, paratrooper and linguist was killed together with two comrades in the Sangin Valley by a suicide bomber. He became the 100th victim of the war.

Rotary Club spokesman Jeff Holman said: “We wanted to pay tribute to Daniel and mark this with a positive project; a way to help young people follow their own dream.”

Over the years, the money has been used in a variety of ways.

The first £1,000 enabled Sarah Sells to live and teach in rural Ethiopia. In 2012, Rebecca Holman used the money to part-fund a placement in Tanzania as part of her medical training. In 2013 Ailsa Jones needed support to complete the training required for a career in dog grooming, so that year’s award enabled her to gain her qualifications and last year she opened her first salon in Maresfield.

2014 saw Natalie Armitage spend four weeks working with a body linked to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, working on a Masters degree. Other successful projects included advanced study of the violin in London and four weeks on an architectural charity project in Cambodia.

Normally a single award of £1,000 is made, but in 2010 and again in 2014, the money was split between two equally strong applications.

The club doesn’t restrict what the money is spent on. Applicants need to convince the club of the value of their proposal and the benefits that they or others will gain from it, as well as any preparation he or she has already made for the project. Once the award has been presented and the recipient has done what they set out to do, he or she is invited back to a Rotary Club meeting to tell members how the money was spent.

Applications for the 2016 award close on 31 March, and the required form and more details can be found on the club’s website, from Alan Garrood, on 01825 714654 or by contacting

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