Henry and Scrase will be building Houses.

The boys have some work ahead of them.

The boys have some work ahead of them.

It’s been a few years since we have been able to travel to Guatemala to do hands-on work. For the past few years we have used the money that we have raised as a charity to support Juan Castro in his education, help fund books in Ixil at the school in Santa Avelina and continue to sponsor a group of 10 year old children at the William Botnam school.

When we have done work in Guatemala in the past, Henry was always too young to be able to travel into the mountains. It was too dangerous a trip and the work was too difficult for a young boy. Finally, this has changed. In October we will be partnering with From Houses to Homes to build a house for a family…in a week. A week! With our experience of installing the Onil Stoves, we have seen how so many families live in thatched roof huts with mud floors. The idea of offering them a watertight home with a concrete floor is fantastic. Our aim is to build two homes with From Houses to Homes in late October of this year.

We are also planning our additional days working with a local orphanage for boys. We are still deciding on the project that we will do there as it will depend on how our fundraising goes in the next few months.

For Henry and his friend Scrase, this will be an amazing gift.

Please check out more on From Houses to Homes at www.fromhousestohomes.org

Dogs Got Talent! May 25 in Wickhamford

Please join us for this great event.

Please join us for this great event.

Rush Premier Success!

Hard to believe that this was in 2013 and not 1973.

Hard to believe that this was in 2013 and not 1973.

Thanks to everyone who supported TeamHelps, The Vale of Evesham School, and Pancreatic Cancer Research at the Rush Premier Night in Evesham on September 7, 2013. We raised £18,903 for the three charities. As Henry put it ‘that’s a lot of Chutney!’.

Hi, from Henry.

In 2007....when the Chutney idea began.

In 2007….when the Chutney idea began.

Hi, I’m Henry. I’m originally from Guatemala. Because I’m from there I still care about the people, especially the kids.

When I was 4 and I started going to school in England I felt like I wanted to help the other kids in Guatemala go to school. I wanted a way to make money and help pay for them to go to school.

One day my Mom and I were stressed out about all of the apples in our garden that we couldn’t eat and that were going to waste.

So we decided to DO something about the apples and DO something about the kids in Guatemala. We put it together and came up with the idea of making chutney.

We decided that the best way to use the apples and to make them last a long time was to put them in jars and make chutney. This way we could take our time with selling as much as we could.

We came up with a recipe that I would like. I like spicy things. I like REALLY spicy things. We did the normal ENGLISH thing with apples, and onions and sugar….but then we ZAPPED it with hot peppers…..Just like the Guatemalans would like.

I love my chutney. I eat it with eggs. I put it on sandwiches. Sometimes I just eat it plain.

So now we gather the apples and we cook the chutney. We stink up the house and we stink up our hair and we put it all in jars with my own special label.

We sell it Farm shops. We sell it to friends. We give it to EVERYONE we know.

The money that we make has helped a LOT of kids go to school and it makes me really happy.

Henry at 4, when Chutney sales started

Henry at 4, when Chutney sales started

What if you didn’t have anything to read?

A book written in Ixil

We hear about people not being able to read. That alone is sad.

Can you imagine if even worse, you had nothing to read? Imagine not being able to pick up a book, a newspaper, or even read a sign with directions. In rural Guatemala this is a very real scenario.

There are so many native Mayan languages that many are not even documented. In Santa Avelina, things are changing. This is where we are working with the William Botnam school and HELPS International. The school goes beyond teaching the children. It is involving the adults in the community as well and everyone is learning to read.

Even more exciting, we are developing books to read. In their language, with their traditions and with the excitement of a whole new world. It’s good stuff.

Meeting Juan Castro

In July we were fortunate enought to be able to go to Guatemala and meet Juan Castro.

Juan Castro and his family

Juan Castro and his family

Juan is a young man with a smirk on his face and a quiet nature about him. This year has been full of life altering changes for him. At 18, he lost legs, received prosthetics and is now getting an education. Before all of this he rarely left his home.

TeamHelps is lucky enough to be supporting Juan in his dream of getting an education and watching him blossom into a very cool adult. Check out his story below.


If you’re lucky enough to go to school in Guatemala it is usually for 6 years. When I asked Juan what he would do when he was finished Year 6 he gave me a smirk. Evidently he wants to be a lawyer. A lawyer!

We’re behind him all the way.


Autumn in the hills of Guatemala brings a lot of excitement. It’s the time for the corn harvest as well as time for graduation from school. For our friends in Santa Avelina we’ll be celebrating with them as the Year 6 kids graduate and move on to the next stage in their lives.
It seems a small gesture, but TeamHelps has been able to provide these graduates with school jackets that have the name of the school embroidered on the front and on the back the year of their graduation. This year there are 20 children graduating. To me this is an amazing sign of hope in a place that seems so ‘heavy’ with the load of everyday survival.
In addition we’re so happy to see Isabela graduate from boarding school in ChiChi Isabela’s mother died a year ago and she has continued on with her dream of becoming a bookeeper and has been at the top of her class.
The son of our friend Domingo has a son named Pedro Angel who we’ve been fortunate enough to help in his final year of school. Pedro has dreamed of being a teacher since he was in first grade and he now can now see that dream become a reality.
For these kids to continue on with more than just a few years of school is something to see. For them it is hope and a way to help their community out of the isolation that they are in.
It’s a good time of year.

We did it.

So it turns out that 13.1 miles wasn’t so scarey after all. Thanks to everyone for their support, and thanks to Jane, Kerry, Lucy, Richard, Yvonne and Scott for running on the day. It looks like we have raised close to £2500, so well done!

Silverstone Half Marathon

A group of 10 really dedicated TeamHelps friends are racing around Silverstone in March….on foot!

They are training for this 13.1 mile race in an effort to raise money for the charity and to support the work being done this year in August.

We decided to run the race so that we would each be personally challenged (boy did we get that right!) and so that it would give us each the constant reminder of who we are trying to help. If you’re able to sponsor a runner – with supportive words or a fiver, it would hugely appreciated! Running in this winter weather has been quite the challenge.

Good luck to Richard, Rob, Kerry, Lucy, Jane, the Birnie clan ….(oh and me too please-I’m freaking out!!)

Donation Online button

TeamHelps UK is now a registered UK Charity!

For the last two years we have worked with Helps International, a charity based in the US and Guatemala. The infrastructure and support that they provide has been invaluable.

For our UK based crew however, it has been a nagging desire for us to be a charity in our own right. For the benefit of broader work in Guatemala as well as to be able to maximize contributions that are UK based.

The charity commission has worked with us for the last few months and helped us with our official registration. We are now charity number 1127612. Our next step is to register with HMRC to register for GiftAid so that we can set up a justgiving.co.uk account. Stay tuned!