An animal lover welcomed visitors to meet his incredible menagerie of pets in the name of charity.

Ken Surridge keeps some 300 creatures at his home in Rydal Gardens, Whitton, including doves, chinchillas, hedgehogs and guinea pigs.

He invited people to hold and pet some of his furry, feathered and prickly friends on Sunday (February 9) to raise money for a new charitable organisation supporting impoverished youngsters in Kenya.

About 50 people passed through his door during the day, enjoying the opportunity to get their faces painted and take home a balloon dog, as well as meeting the animals.

The event raised more than £300 for the Uji na Mchele (Porridge and Rice) charitable organisation, enough to provide breakfast for a class of nearly 30 children in Kenya for a whole year.

 

Uji na Mchele was set up by Mr Surridge and some of his pupils, whom he teaches privately at his home as KS Learning, after they visited Kenya in November last year to work with HIV/AIDS groups and help out in community schools.

It has already installed electricity at the Excel Emmanuel School, where students previously learned by candlelight in the early morning.

Some of the trustees now plan to return next month to the school, where a quarter of pupils arrive each day having not eaten, to build a kitchen and set up a payment system to ensure all children receive breakfast, lunch and a piece of fruit each day.

The charity's name is inspied by the local type of porridge (uji) youngsters will eat for breakfast and the rice (mchele) they will have with stew for lunch.

It has a number of fundraising events planned for the year ahead, including bag-packing at Tesco and a sponsored bike ride, both next month.

Jake Smith, one of the Uji na Mchele's trustees, said: "The day was a great success and all the money raised will be used to provide meals for children at Excel Emmanuel School, in the Kenyan slums. For just 3p a day, we can provide a child with breakfast."