THE co-founder of High Street cosmetics store Lush will travel to West Africa to support a Worcester charity.

Rowena Bird, who established the bath and body products company that is famous for its ethical attitudes, will spend 10 days in the Gambia helping the Fresh Start Foundation (FSF).

The charity, which is run by husband and wife Lamin and Rebecca Daffeh from their home in Gillam Street, Worcester, changes the lives of vulnerable children by providing access to education and health care.

“Travelling in Africa has long been a passion of mine and each time I am fortunate enough to go I am overwhelmed by the generosity and spirit of the people I meet,” said Miss Bird.

“The chance to visit and to be given clear direction, rather than an assumption on my part on what I can do to return the compliment is a Godsend. I truly hope and believe that in this visit I will be able to give back as much as I am sure to receive from the people of this happy country.”

Fresh Start Foundation began working with Lush in July this year after Mr Daffeh took part in the Channel 4 game show Deal or No Deal in a bid to win money for the charity.

Sophie Pritchard, Lush’s charitable giving manger, saw the show and was so inspired by Mr Daffeh’s dedication she got in touch. Lush, a Poole-based company, donated £6,500 from its Charity Pot fund to FSF and invited the charity to talk at an international meeting.

“Lamin came and gave a wonderful presentation,” said Ms Pritchard. “Everyone was so inspired and moved by what he’s trying to do. Quite a few people asked me if they could volunteer.

“We might not be able to rid the world of poverty overnight, but we can change people’s lives one by one by supporting charities such as the Fresh Start Foundation. It’s amazing what they have achieved with so little money, their support of the Kwinella community is a real inspiration and proof that we can all make a difference.”

The volunteers will leave the UK on Tuesday, January 5. While in the Gambia they will renovate a school building, plant trees, teach English, make batiks and soap, and help grow vegetables.

For more information about FSF call 01905 20058 or visit