Members of Crewkerne & District U3A heard of a mercy mission to Nepal, at their November meeting. Guest speaker Ian Williamson from Yeovil, extended his trip to Nepal, to help build a house for a family, made homeless by a massive earthquake. Ian is a volunteer with St Margaret’s Hospice, he marked his retirement by joining a group of other hospice volunteers on a fund-raising trek to Nepal. At the end of the trip, Ian stayed on and joined a group who were trekking to a village, reduced to rubble by an earthquake. The massive earthquake, which occurred last year in the Himalayan foothills, killed nearly 9,000 people and injured 22,000 inhabitants, living in the remote mountainous region.

U3A members were told of two strokes of luck, which aided the group’s humanitarian mission. Building materials were found to be ready at hand and some of the group were professional builders. Ian said: “In three days we finished building the new house, hopefully one that will withstand earthquakes in the future. A delighted Nepalese family, who had been living in a cowshed, moved in immediately.” Earlier in the trip, Ian and the other hospice volunteers, helped to carry out repairs at a local cancer hospital, the only one for miles around. He had initially gone on the trip, to give something back to society, help others and keep fit. Ian was pleased that he had managed to achieve all three goals. The Crewkerne & District U3A meeting at the Henhayes Community Centre was attended by more than 100 members.

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