A TEAROOM owner has sold up and flown out to help children in South Africa after falling in love with the country.

Demini Aves, who ran Hyde Tearooms, visited South Africa earlier in the year, and when she returned she decided to sell the lease.

Now she is desperately trying to raise £1,595 to secure a building where children with special needs are cared for.

The Rekgathile special needs home is a small house which takes in children from families who cannot care for them.

The children have various special needs such as Down’s syndrome and autism, and they depend on volunteers such as Ms Aves to care for them. The home is struggling to provide food and clothes, much of which is provided by the volunteers, but the home is in desperate need of extra support and funds. Ms Aves said: “It is a very sad story, unfortunately not one unique to South Africa.

“The owner of the house where the children stay is desperate to sell. This would leave the children homeless and with no care.

“The owner of Siyafunda Wildlife and Conservation, who I work for, has begged the owner not to sell if we can raise the funds to buy the house, for £2,175.

“We have already raised enough for a deposit of £580. Once the house is secure we want to carry out renovations and continue to improve their standard of living.”

Ms Aves is helping at Siyafunda Wildlife and Conservation in Makalali Game Reserve, which not only works to educate people in how to care for their animals but gets involved in many side projects too, such as the care home.

To offer help, search for Rekgathile special needs home on Facebook or email dem@siyafundaconservation.com.