TO MOST of us, giving our home a bit of a clean and a lick of paint is no big deal.
But for orphans living in west Africa, such a spruce up can improve their quality of life a great deal.
So when HMS Edinburgh sailed into port in Mauritania for only a matter of hours, her crew decided to take quick action for some of the orphans living in the country’s capital, Nouakchott.
The ship’s chaplain, Reverend Charles Bruzon, and 54 crew gave a much-needed overhaul to the orphanage.
During a brief port stop the team gave up their spare time to clear five skip loads of rubbish from a compound surrounding the building and gave it a deep clean and lick of paint.
Petty Officer Mick Howes acted as chippy for the project and installed new window frames and shored up a sagging ceiling.
Mr Bruzon, who organised the project, said: ‘The project was mutually beneficial and undertaken in a spirit of co-operation – the orphanage undoubtedly benefiting from our sailors’ efforts and the volunteers coming away with a renewed perspective and appreciation of the privileges we enjoy compared to those in other parts of the world.’
The ships’s Commanding Officer Commander Nick Borbone added: ‘Looking around at the sheer effort that has gone into improving the orphanage, it is clear that although my team only had seven hours to work on this project, these children will now enjoy a better life than they did yesterday.’
HMS Edinburgh left Portsmouth in September for a six-month deployment across the Atlantic. It will be the last time a Type 42 destroyer deploys on operations as they make way for the new-generation Type 45 destroyers.
HMS Edinburgh is the final ship of her class operating in the Royal Navy, marking the end of 30 years of service for the Type 42.
After helping out in the war against drugs smuggling, she will head to the US for ceremonial duties, before coming back to Portsmouth.