A fund set up in the memory of a young soldier who fell in love with Kenya during a posting with the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) has already had an impact on a number of good causes in the country.
Jack Mitchell died of a bleed to the brain after he was punched in the head during a night out with friends in the Warehouse nightclub in Stroud on February 5, 2017. At the time, he was serving as a Royal Artillery gunner in 32 Regiment and had returned from a six month posting in Nanyuki with BATUK during which time he and his army colleagues had regularly volunteered to work at local orphanages.
“Like many young soldiers, Jack and his colleagues had nieces, nephews and young siblings of the same ages as the children they saw. Jack reflected that they all felt a duty to support them, and they enjoyed supporting the community,” his father Julian explained.
The 26-year-old was also a keen member of Painswick Rugby Football Club and after his death, Jack’s family and friends were determined that his life should be commemorated and remembered in a way that “reflected his own compassion and morality”.
Money was donated and fundraising activities organised with the family left feeling overwhelmed by the generosity and support they had received. Their next task was to find an appropriate legacy for Jack and agreed that he would have wanted a large proportion of the fund to support children he had worked with in Kenya.
Through Stonehouse Rotary Club, the family were directed to Carolyn and Bill Kirk, who were familiar with orphanages in the Nanyuki area.
The Kirks, working closely with Kenyan Gem Dennis who was employed by the British Army and had previously worked with Jack, identified a couple of projects they thought would be suitable and it was agreed the funds would be split between them.
Subsequently, some of the money raised was used to supply all of the desks and furniture in what is now called the Jack Mitchell Computer Room at the Nanyuki school and it has also funded high school scholarships for four girls
To reflect Jack’s love of animals a donation was made to a wildlife orphanage, which will be used to build a proper shelter for the mountain bongo, an extremely rare mountain antelope driven almost to extinction by hunting.
Every penny donated has been used to support good causes, with nothing being taken on expenses, fees, wages or administration and the family are continuing to look for ways to continue their support for worthy causes in Jack’s memory.
If you would like to donate to the Nanyuki Children’s Charitable Trust, you can do so using the following details:
Sort Code: 40-13-08
Acc No: 81349473
Ref: Jack Mitchell Memorial