Chiswick Charity Needs Your Pennies

Microloan Foundation aiming to break Guinness World Record

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MicroLoan Foundation, the Chiswick-based charity providing small loans and guidance to women in sub-Saharan Africa, will be holding the ‘Pennies for Life’ Guinness World Record attempt for the longest line of pennies at Chiswick Community School on the 9th and 10th July 2011.

In order to break the record, MicroLoan Foundation needs more than 1000 volunteers to lay more than 50 miles of pennies across the grounds of the school – the equivalent of driving from Chiswick to Oxford.

The ‘Pennies for Life’ campaign aims to get the people of West London into the history books by collecting more than 4 million pennies and laying them in a line. MicroLoan Foundation and Chiswick Community School are calling on anyone who wants to make big changes to society – from teachers and students to local businesses – to come to the school grounds in Chiswick to participate in the World Record attempt and enjoy a great family day out.

“We are delighted to be involved in this ambitious attempt to create a Guinness World Record whilst at the same time raising money for a very worthy cause and placing the school where it belongs; at the very heart of the local community,” said Tony Ryan, Headmaster, Chiswick Community School. “Each form group has been given a target of raising £25.00 and students are being encouraged to give their time as well as money.”

MicroLoan Foundation aims to raise around £100,000 from ‘Pennies for Life’, which will be enough to provide loans to 130,000 women and indirectly help an estimated 660,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the founding of the charity in 2002, the charity has made over 110,000 loans and offered training and support to women in poor rural Africa to enable them to start and develop small businesses, such as clothes and grocery stalls or small holdings.

“The ‘Pennies for Life’ Guinness World Record attempt needs to be a real community effort and we urge all our local West Londoners to join us at Chiswick Community School on 9th and 10th July,” explained Peter Ryan, CEO, MicroLoan Foundation. “It promises to be an action-packed fun day out for all the family, with an international food fair, children’s activities, raffles, live entertainment and a host of surprise celebrities!”

The ‘Pennies for Life’ event will be located on the grounds of Chiswick Community School which is situated on Burlington Lane, Chiswick. Limited parking is available. Attendees are urged to use public transport: Chiswick Station is 5 minutes walk and the E3 bus stop is directly outside school.

The MicroLoan Foundation is a UK microfinance charity that provides microfinance (small loans of about £70), business education and ongoing mentoring support to impoverished women in sub-Saharan Africa. This provides them with a “hand-up not a hand-out” so they can develop self-sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families, and work their own way out of poverty. 99% of the loans are repaid and then recycled in full to help more women year after year.

May 18, 2011