Blog Archives


We are delighted at the fantastic news that one of our key volunteers Kate Thompson has been awarded the Freedom of London by nomination for her wildlife conservation work. From now on in, she will become a ‘Freeman of the City of London’.

She is a key part of our ‘Green toilet’ team and we are absolutely delighted she will be joining us at Brainhouse Academy in April 2018 when we start to build the toilets. She will lead the education programme, helping to gain an understanding of how the toilets work and the neccessity for maintenance – using art and craft as the main medium for learning.

We are all so very delighted for Kate. A delightful and very humble person.


We would all like to say an enormous thank you to Jerson Thomas and Hugh McDowell – teachers from Waverley Academy who road peddle bikes to Paris in support of our young people at Brainhouse Academy – raising an incredible £1,110.91 to help us support the health and wellbeing of our young people.

Thank you both so much for being prepared to give up your holidays to support us and inspire all those around you to support you through such wonderful donations.

It means the world to us and everyone at Brainhouse Academy.


In Kenya up to 65% of women cannot afford sanitary care.  Our girls are no exception.  When money is so tight you can barely afford food, sanitary products are not considered a necessity, but rather a luxury.  This means the girls are forced to use old rags, paper or even skip school entirely whilst they are on their period missing weeks of crucial education each year.

ACEF believes, access to sanitary products should be a basic human right, but until it is, ACEF is running a Girls Health and Empowerment program, making it one of their goals to ensure that all the girls at Brainhouse are provided with long term sanitary care.  We shall do this by providing each girl and female adult in the school with reusable sanitary towels or menstrual cups, along with training in sexual health education.RubyCup

To help raise these fund ACEF is running a campaign called ‘Dine for Dignity’ to help bring dignity to all the girls and women of Brainhouse Academy.  £5 will pay for a girl to have a fem-kit (containing reusable sanitary towels) which will last a year and just £12 will buy a girl a menstrual cup which will last up to 10 years.  In all we need to raise £5,000 to provide full cover for every girl in the school.

We are looking for our friends and colleagues to help us raise this money for  the girls at Brainhouse Academy by hosting dinner parties, afternoon teams, bake sales or event ‘Come Dine with Me’ style events.  How about hosting a Christmas event or New Year Dinner where a contribution is made to our girls or even a cheer up January/February event.  (We are aiming to have raised the money by March 2018)

Please donate any funds raised through our Just giving Dine for Dignity page:

Blossomfield Infants School have been supporting ACEF for some time and this year they raised money specifically to support sports activities at Brainhouse.
Recently Liz Formby visited the infant school to talk to the children about the fantastic sports day that they had made possible.
She explained how “the school was alive with encouragement, cheering, shouting, celebrating – every age wanted to take part in everything from egg and spoon, to three-legged, to relay racing and all because of the funding you raised for us”.
She added “We also had an extra special day where we took the six all round students from the school on a special outing – we went to see the footballs you had paid for being made, by a wonderful social enterprise which employs people who would otherwise find it difficult to work”.
Everyone at Blossomfield Infants School made this possible and we would like to thank them all!
Do you know anyone with the skills to become an ACEF social media volunteer?
ACEF already has a website plus Facebook (you know that), and we are looking for a volunteer to develop the charity’s digital strategy and to keep this current across these channels as well as Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp.
Our digital approach helps us keep connected with our existing supporters and needs to attract a wider audience to increase our reach; raise ACEF’s profile; promote events; and help secure new and on-going funding streams.
Can you help?
This is a great opportunity for someone to build their portfolio of skills and work experience and as a volunteer you will get the mentoring and support of Trustees.
A full role specification is available on request to
The sun is out – the sky is blue – Its our Charity Bike Ride!!
Today we will be welcoming 60 riders to the Old Yardleians Rugby Club, Tilehouse Ln, Shirley, Solihull B90 1PW.
Join us around 10.00 for breifing before the fun begins! Family rides will depart around 10.30.

The feedback from folks who undertake the ride is always great, loving the fact that this is an on-road ride but down quiet country lanes and fully signposted with marshalls along the way.

There are three routes, 12miles, 28 and 52 miles – so something for everyone.

This year we are keen for you to promote the ride in your workplace.  Could you get a small team together to ride for the team-building and challenge? If you think you could then click her for the flyer which you can download and forward onto others. BikeRideFlyerBusiness

On-line booking can be done here – – and if you would like more information email



Exciting news has emerged from Brainhouse as the examination results have been released. There are some fantastic results – 29 students have achieved university entrance level in their final exams. An amazing achievement for the Brainhouse community, the teachers and the incredible students who have worked so hard to reach these results.

One student, Elizabeth Achieng Owiti has been given a place at University to study Pharmacy, an aspiration she has held for many years. Liz Formby said, “Many congratulations to Elizabeth, I have taken great delight in watching her grow up to be a wonderful woman over the last 6 years. The sadness is that not all will have the finances or access to a scholarship to make the next academic step to meet their aspirations”.

If you can help us find a solution to this so that we can help these students break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their community do get in touch. But for now we salute the wonderful, amazing results of these students who without the amazing dedication of a very special Headteacher and his team would not have these chances in their lives.

Congratulations to Aggrey, the staff and all the students.


Most years we endeavour to organise a volunteer visit to Brainhouse Academy to undertake work on a variety of current and much needed projects. The next visit is going ahead in April 2017.

Volunteers are welcome to notify Liz Formby that they would like to join the visit which will look at such projects as Leadership and teacher training, exploiting basic IT provision and green toilets.

All volunteers have to fund their own flights and accommodation and support from employers is always welcomed where it fits with their international or CSR commitments.

Do get in touch !


Parkview Community School in Saltley have been incredibly motivated and generous and have raised in the order of £2000 to support the children at Brainhouse. What is also very exciting is the possibility that a group of teachers from the school might raise funds to themselves visit Kenya in April 2017 with the aim of helping develop the teachers in Africa. A wonderful partnership may well emerge!


We believe that young people are the most creative and inspirational doers – far better than us adults – they can think outside the box and explore new possibilities. Therefore, it is natural that we will turn to young minds for help.  In April 2016, Alison Halford visited Finstall First School in Bromsgrove to launch the £5 Challenge. The two Year 4 classes have banded together and created groups of 4 – 6 pupils. In each team these pupils will be using a £5 investment provided by the charity to buy the resources that they need to run an enterprising endeavour to raise additional funds.

Ideas included

  • Designing a competition such as “beat the goalie”, coconut shy or basketball challenge
  • Holding a music concert or dance show
  • Buying seeds of flowering plants and vegetables, planting and nurturing them and selling them
  • Sorting out old books and DVD and selling on a stall
  • Make and sell bookmarks and other craft trinkets
  • Bake cakes and sell them to teachers and parent

We look forward to their Enterprise Day on the 17th May to see the amazing products and services they will offer to develop their funds.