RESIDENTS of Cwrt Jubilee in Plymouth Road, Penarth, raised a total of £166 from two collections in support of the overseas charitable work of a local volunteer.

Jem King, whose mother Jean lives at the retirement homes adjacent to Penarth railway station, attended a coffee afternoon where he was presented with monies raised from a tin which was situated in Cwrt Jubilee over the Christmas holidays and a collection from the funeral of elderly resident Dan Cope, who died in December.

"I was delighted to meet everyone and explain a little bit about my work with disadvantaged children and families," said Mr King, 57, before setting off to Andhra Pradesh, India, for his latest volunteering stint.

"My mother, family and friends have been incredibly supportive of my work in India over the past decade or so, but it was fantastic to receive such a great amount towards my projects with HEAL and KISES charities.

"All the residents were very interested to learn more and I was happy to answer all their questions about India and the vulnerable and marginalised people - often living in slums, dumps and on the streets - who I try to help.

"Much of the unpaid work I am involved with centres around educating young children from severely impoverished backgrounds, so how wonderful for some of our elder folk here in Penarth to be making a big difference to people's lives 5,000 miles away.

"It was also a lovely gesture for the collection money from Dan's funeral to go towards my India projects and I look forward to reporting back and showing photographs of how the money is being spent."

It is not the first time the Cwrt Jubilee residents have offered support to children in India, a previous collection contributing towards sponsoring the education and healthcare of a primary school child, Soni Bagu, at HEAL Paradise Village early last year.

"I have continued to support little Soni myself after my mum and her friends generously clubbed together to get the ball rolling," said Jem, a former journalist and now part-time swimming instructor at the Wales International Pool in Cardiff Bay.

"I got to spend time with her and my other sponsored kids towards the end of last year and she is doing really well after a particularly difficult start in life. I will continue to pin her school reports on the wall at Cwrt Jubilee for everyone to follow her progress."

Mr King, who has three children of his own, Alex, Samantha and Adam, is currently spending six weeks volunteering in rural southern India and has set a target of raising £20,000 from corporate funding in each of the next five years to pay for projects such as mobile schools, health camps and feeding programmes.

If any local businesses, schools or groups would like to get involved in supporting him they can get in touch via email at To make a direct donation online, go to gofundme/changing-lives-in-india, or by post to 22A Arcot Street, Penarth, CF641EU.

To learn more about HEAL (Health and Education for All) visit their website at and for information about KISES (Kiranmayi Socio Educational Society) see