All posts by Chloe Hughes

Impact of the Sanitary Gate at Freetown International Airport

In October 2020, Westminster’s charity, the Westminster Group Foundation, donated a Sanitary Gate sanitising tunnel to the Sierra Leone Aviation Authority, who installed it at Freetown International Airport in Lungi. The tunnel is used to sanitise passengers within the airport, as well as to maintain high safety levels.  Inside the tunnel is a disinfectant liquid effective in reducing the viral load present on surfaces by 99% in just 5 seconds, without causing harm to humans.

The Westminster Foundation has been actively supporting charitable causes in Sierra Leone for many years and donated stable commodities during the lockdown in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Foundation also provided support during the Ebola Crisis and continues to work with many local projects, providing funding and equipment wherever it can.

Giulio Barbieri Outdoor Solutions, the manufacturer of the Sanitary Gate sanitising tunnel, recently interviewed Joanna Fowler, Head of Managed Service Division for the Westminster Group and Trustee of the Westminster Foundation, to talk about the donation and its significance for Sierra Leone.

What led Westminster Group to choose Sanitary Gate for Freetown Airport?

We are very active at Freetown Airport: we have been working with them since 2012.

As they were trying to put together their exit plan to start flights up again, we already had fever-detection in place because they had been using it since the Ebola crisis. One of the things we identified quite quickly with regards to the Covid-19 virus is that fever-detection was not as effective as it had been with some of the other viruses.

As we were moving much more towards sanitisation products, the Westminster Group saw Sanitary Gate and felt it was a good fit to improve passengers and stakeholders’ confidence and to help increase passengers’ flow without impacting their experience. It is very easy to install and very low-maintenance, and all those factors put together made us feel it was the best fit for that environment.

> How would you assess the socio-economic impact of such an instrument?

As soon as people disembark the aircraft, they can see it, it gives them a nice feeling of security. The Sierra Leone Aviation Authority is grateful for the donation that we made because it has just helped them in speaking to the airlines and in encouraging them to fly back into Sierra Leone and start rebooting the economy.

> What is the significance of the donation you made?

Because it is a large investment, it has attracted a lot of publicity, but for Westminster Group Foundation this donation is just the tip of the iceberg of what we actually do on a daily basis. We are continually trying to assist people locally where we operate, be it in the UK or in any other country where we are present. We try to help wherever we can.

Sierra Leone School featured in Oxford United Football Club Match Programme

The Westminster Group Foundation and Oxford United Football Club partnered together in February to provide one school in Sierra Leone with 15 OUFC football shirts and prepared a quiz for local schools to compete in for the shirts.

17 entries were received from 4 different schools, and the winner came from Bullom Ahmadiyya, Muslim Junior Secondary School in the Masoila area of Lungi.

Oxford United Football Club were made aware of the winner and included the story in their match programme on the 29th of February. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were only recently able to send the programme to Sierra Leone.

When it did arrive in November, Neil Fowler, the Aviation Security Manager at Westminster Aviation Security Services, presented the programme to the school alongside the headmaster, Umar P Bangura, during their morning outdoor assembly.

Mr Bangura thanked both Westminster and Oxford United on behalf of the school for the quiz, the football shirts and now the inclusion in the match programme. The children were visibly excited by the inclusion, as they all cheered when the programme was handed over.

Westminster have had a presence in Sierra Leone since 2012 and will continue to provide support in whatever way they can throughout this pandemic and beyond.

Westminster Group Foundation proudly support AlansAfrica in donating desks to Port Loko Primary School

The Westminster Group Foundation are proud to support AlansAfrica on their project to donate desk and bench sets to Port Loko Primary School in Sierra Leone.

Port Loko is a primary school in Sierra Leone with an attendance of just over 400 children from the 12 surrounding villages. Despite the government being able to pay the teachers and staff, basic amenities such as classroom furniture are not included in their funding.

Before the support given by AlansAfrica, 150 of the children had to either use benches as desks or sit and crouch on the floor, which are very difficult conditions for them to endure whilst trying to do their schoolwork.

With the help of Raging Fever FC, a group of Oxford United fans, we were able to provide 50 desk and bench sets, which each seat 3 children. These 50 desk and bench sets have meant that 150 children no longer have to sit on the floor to work, and this has really improved their day-to-day school life.

AlansAfrica and the Westminster Group Foundation are currently working to try and provide Port Loko Primary School with some more basic classroom furniture and equipment to further improve their quality of education.

Westminster would like to extend our thanks to both AlansAfrica and Raging Fever FC for their support towards this worthy cause.

Westminster Group Foundation pleased to support Momoh, a disabled teenager living in Lungi

The Westminster Group Foundation are pleased to have supported AlansAfrica in providing support to Momoh, a disabled teenager living in Lungi, and his carer.

Momoh is a 20-year-old orphan who suffers from cerebral palsy and polio. He is cared for by an elderly woman who he calls ‘Auntie’. Due to his conditions, Momoh is unable to speak, but he can hear and understand what is being said.

With our support, AlansAfrica have been able to help Momoh and his ‘auntie’ quite a lot over the last few years, by providing money for essential supplies and other important amenities, such as wheelchairs.

Due to the lack of specialist institutions in the area, Momoh’s condition makes it impossible for him to go to school. In order to provide him with a little bit of home comfort, AlansAfrica was able to raise funds to buy him a rechargeable DVD player and a radio to help him pass the time.

Most recently, AlansAfrica raised just shy of £100 to pay for an operation to remove a painful growth on his carer’s wrist. There is no NHS service in Sierra Leone, and without the help of the funds raised, Momoh’s ‘auntie’ would not have been able to afford the operation. Without the operation, the condition would not only affect her life, but also Momoh’s quality of life.

Momoh’s carer has recently received this operation and is making steady progress in her recovery.

The Westminster Group Foundation will continue to provide support to Sierra Leone, as we have done since 2012.

Westminster Group Foundation help to provide football shirts to Sierra Leone

The Westminster Group Foundation have recently supported Oxford United in their donation of football shirts to Sierra Leone.

Oxford United football shirts have been donated to communities in Sierra Leone both by Oxford United themselves, and by global children’s charity, Enable the Children.

The Westminster Foundation aided the cause by shipping the football shirts to communities in Lungi, Sierra Leone, where Westminster have been present through our management of the security systems at Freetown International Airport since 2012. We will continue to provide support to the area in whatever ways we can during this pandemic, and beyond.


Westminster Group Foundation are proud to support the Roll Out the Barrel Trust to donate visors to Sierra Leone

The Westminster Group Foundation are proud to support the Roll Out the Barrel Trust with their donation of 1,000 safety face visors to Sierra Leone.

The Roll Out the Barrel Trust are a British charity who aim to prevent women, children and elderly people across the world having to carry water by hand, on their backs or on their heads, by providing them with Rotary Water Barrels. Since the COVID-19 crisis, the charity have diversified and have been supplying first world countries with PPE.

The Westminster Group Foundation have supported the ROTB Trust with their donation of 1,000 safety visors to Sierra Leone. The Westminster Group PLC are aiding the trust with air freighting the visors to Freetown International Airport, where they will be distributed to organisations and communities in Lungi and the surrounding area.

Westminster have had a presence in Lungi since 2012, through our management of the security systems at Freetown International Airport and we will be continuing to support the area in whatever ways we can during this pandemic.

Westminster Group Foundation proudly support Sierra Leone’s Calvary Primary School

The Westminster Group Foundation are proud to be in partnership with AlansAfrica to support Sierra Leone’s Calvary Primary School.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many parents have been unable to pay their children’s fees. Because of this, staff and teachers at the school have not been able to receive a salary for the past three months.

The staff at the Calvary School sent an email to Alan’s Africa thanking them and their donor partners for their ‘timely intervention’.

As well as this, in partnership with AlansAfrica, we have upgraded the submersible pump in the well at the School and Church community to provide a more efficient water system. This will make a remarkable difference to the community, especially to the school children.

Westminster will continue to provide support to Lungi and the surrounding area, as we have done for the last 8 years.