** I found this very important for all Sierra Leoneans, Pls. read and pass along.
Appeal to buy ambulance for Sierra Leone village.
A FORMER 'frontline angel' turned landlady is aiming to buy an ambulance for a war-torn town with the help of festive pub goers.
Aly-Joy Haworth hopes to raise £5,000 to send to Makeni in Sierra Leone, where she was deployed at a community hospital during her time as an army paramedic.
The 23-year-old, from Great Harwood, returned from the African country in October 2006. She had been serving as a Lance Corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps, working as part of an international medical team helping to rebuild the shattered country following years of destructive civil war.
While waiting to start a civilian paramedic course she has been helping to run the family pub, the Tavern, Church Street, Great Harwood.
She is now holding two fundraising events over the festive period to help pay for a dedicated ambulance for the Magbenteh Hospital in Makeni.
Aly-Joy said: "I have been back for over a year now but I still think about the horrendous conditions that the people over there had to endure.
"Many villagers walk hundreds of miles to get to the hospital and when they arrive their baby will die and then they have to treat the mothers for exhaustion.
"I have so much admiration for the staff. They go through hell to try and save those kids."
The pub was tonight staging a Christmas bash on, with raffle ticket money going to the fund. It will also be holding a fundraising Hogmanay-style New Year's Eve event. Customers will be served by a kilt-clad Sgt Gordon Brown - Aly-Joy's partner and a fellow army medic.
The money will also be collected in memory of Aly-Joy's grandfather Denis Dunn, who died in September at the age of 82. The ambulance will carry his name once it has been purchased.
"We hope to send £2,000 out in the New Year, which will help buy the vehicle and an initial supply of medicine," said Aly-Joy. "Our target is £5,000 which then get the ambulance up and running."
Aly-Joy and her family have previously collected children's clothing and stationary to send to the hospital, along with cash raised through various events held in Great Harwood.
Before leaving the forces, army bosses nominated Aly-Joy for an MBE which was awarded to her by the Queen in a ceremony in June.