History

The Gunjur Project Lodge was established in 2005

The project is run by an English family with a Gambian partner. They are Jo, Butch, Brendan, Jenny, Alagi and in 2009 Charles Alagi was born at the project and joined the team. They have built the Gunjur Project from the start – the land was purchased as a bare piece of land. All of the buildings and gardens have been designed and developed by the family.

The idea came from Butch who had a dream of retiring in The Gambia – that dream was developed and Gunjur Project was born. Life savings were invested and in 2006 they took a sabbatical from their employment and the following year gave up their jobs and came back.

Who are we?

Alagi, an associate of the Gambian Tourism Agency, had worked for several years as an ambassador for his country prior to setting up Gunjur Project and working with our visitors to develop many projects

Gunjur Project is a family run centre that has developed a motivated and committed staff team. The majority of the staff team of 14 have been working at The Gunjur Project since it opened in 2005. We have a detailed training programme for our team ensuring a high standard of service to our visiting groups. Within the staff training programme we provide training around Health & Safety, First Aid, Food hygiene, Safeguarding of young visitors, appropriate relationships, Internet usage, Bar & restaurant service.

Jo Austin-Preece: A qualified youth worker and counsellor with many years experience of managing youth work in the UK, Jo is ideally placed to ensure high standards of youth work are achieved and maintained at the project. She has previously run a community project which targeted young people who were not in employment, that was recognised as a model of good practice by Government Office North West.  She will be involved in all aspects of the project.

Brendan Ringstead: A qualified youth worker for several years Brendan has used outdoor education as a vehicle to work with young people and challenge their perceptions of the wider world he believes that taking young people out of their own environments leads to a greater understanding of citizenship.   His youth work skills are invaluable throughout, encouraging young people to get the most from their experience. He is responsible for the health and safety of off site trips. He has lead on several Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

Alagi Bojang: An associate of the Gambian Tourist Agency, Alagi has worked for several years as an ambassador for his country. He has worked with European visitors to develop an understanding of life in Gambia by developing programmes aimed at making visiting pupils from the Europe better global citizens. He leads on many of the community projects within the Gambia. Alagi often visits places outside of The Gambia to deliver presentations and help with the planning and preparing for group travel. His experience is invaluable at the Gunjur Project. Alagi recently won The Grange School (Northwich, UK)  ‘Top Honour’ award for his continued positive work with the school.

Jenny Ringstead: Jenny’s background is as a registered manager of a specialised care home in UK. Within her position she was responsible for the well being and high standard of service delivery to 41 older people. She managed a staff team of 30 employees. The experiences gained from this position have been a fantastic model for The Gunjur Project to work towards.  Her responsibilities at the Gunjur Project are the day to day operations within the project grounds ensuring that all staff deliver an excellent service to visitors and ensuring that the health and safety of the site, leading on training staff and ensuring all policies and procedures are adhered to at all times.

Butch (Philip) Preece: Butch is a professional musician and former lecturer. He has been running workshops with young people and communities in the UK, teaching African drumming and raising cultural awareness for ten years. He oversees all aspects of organising entertainment and workshops; his musical experience always ensure all visitors have a wonderful musical time.

Charles Alagi Ringstead: Charlie is the youngest in the project team. He is the son of Brendan & Jenny, the grandson of Jo & Butch and Toma of Alagi and was born here in Gambia in 2009. He has now been recruited in the resident band ‘Tribal Stars’ with his friend Adama. Come and watch them perform – priceless…….

Sainey Camera (supervisor): Sainey is our main driver and is nicknamed by many as ‘Steady Sainey’ attributed to his good driving. Sainey has been part of the project before we had our first guests.

Momadou Jabang (Chef): Momadou has previous experience of catering at the MRC in Fajara. He has been with the project since we started.

Soloman Damphe & Alagi Colley: Responsible for site security and both have been with the project since 2008.

Kodu Njie (supervisor): Fantastic baker and a great leader for our team. Kodu started with the Gunjur Project in 2007. Kodu is a mother of two boys and plays a vital part of the day to day operations within the catering team.

Fatou Joof: Fatou leads on room cleaning at the project. Fatou joined the team in 2007.

Weayh Sanyang: Weayh is our day chef and ensures a fantastic breakfast in the morning! Weayh has been with us since the start of the project.

Mustapha Darboe (Bar Supervisor): Mustapha leads the bar team in ensuring a great service in the restaurant and bar. Mustapha joined the team in 2008 and is a very committed team member.

Omar Saho & Sainey Jabang: Both Omar and Sainey work in the restaurant and bar. Omar joined the team in 2007 as a weekend worker, earning money when not at school – Sainey joined us in 2008 and also works with Gunjur Project association registered charity offering support and guidance to students receiving sponsorship.

Daba Kujabi:  Daba joined the team on a work placement as part of the ‘girl guides’ initiative. Following the end of her course in 2009 she joined the project team and works with Fatou in ensuring good housekeeping at the project. With a micro finance loan through The Gunjur Project Association Daba has recently opened a small boutique in Gunjur.

Ousman Darboe: Joined the team in 2013 and works mainly in the kitchen. When we aren’t busy Ousman enjoys working in the gardens.

Kebba Khan (Head Chef): Kebba joined our team in 2014. He has many years experience of working as a Chef in the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul. He has also visited UK to attend catering courses and has been a great addition to our fantastic team.

 

 

 

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