Local Face: Nicola deBorde

Nicola de Borde is making a great impact on Wendover teenagers who meet at Wendover Christian Centre at 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. All 14-18’s are very welcome although most current members are in the age range 14-16 years. Nicola’s family moved to Little Kingshill from the Wirral when she was 15 years old. ‘They decided to worship at St Leonard’s (C i of E) in Chesham Bois because the church I had a very active youth programme it still does. It was there she met Tim de Borde who was later to become her husband. Meanwhile she studied hard and gained a place at medical school. This led up to a 1 year out in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa in 1993. Nicola also spent time in paediatrics and primary care in Blantyre, Malawi. Here she also became very aware of health issues facing teenagers, an interest which continues to this day.

Meanwhile Tim trained to be an accountant and found a placement in Malawi 1996-8 ( with a Christian based organisation offering audits for charities and NGO’s. He returned to UK determined to help cost effective development in Africa. He has recently started a charity, Africalink, connecting you to the poor of Africa, which specialises in small projects where the funds go to designated projects rather than big bureaucratic organisations. This is uniquely possible now because of the world wide web and its communications potential. Africalink aims to be an interface between projects in Malawi and particular groups of people in the UK. The website address is www. africalink.org.uk. Nicola visited Tim while he was working in Malawi and is fully suppor1ive of the way the charity is developing. Nicola qualified in 1998 from Bristol University and since then has done a vocational training programme which included 3 years hospital practice followed by 2 years general practice training. She started work in High Wycombe Hospital then moved to Stoke Mandeville Hospital and has been in general practice in Chesham since August 2001. In 1999 Mike Hill, a family friend who is now the Bishop of Buckingham, married Nicola and Tim in SS Peter and Paul, Great Missenden. They were both keen to carry on their youth work tradition. They were living in Loosely Row, attended St Mary’s church in Thame and became the pathfinder leaders (children aged 11-14). When their son Luke was born in November 2001 they decided to attend a ~church nearer to home. Eventually they moved house as well and came to live in Wendover in September 2002.

A suitable house came up for sale in Wendover even though this was not the village or town they were expecting to settle in. They decided to check out the local Anglican church, St Mary’s, that Sunday. Nicola and Tim found the clergy and congregation very welcoming with lots of families and decided that the move was meant to be. They also like the ecumenical links through Churches Together in Wendover.

In October half term a new youth group was started and Nicola became one of the leaders. They are called GFU and welcome discussion of their name. They wanted a project to start them off and this was the Christingle Service at St Mary’s described in the November/December issue of Wendover News. After Christmas they lighted on the idea of raising money for a charity. They had heard about Africalink’s work in Malawi so they chose this as their charity. They decided to hold a 24-hour Famine to help raise money for the 15 million starving people in southern Africa, including Malawi, organised by World Vision. To add to the poignancy, the teenagers served a delicious 3-course meal to a willing audience during the Famine and Tim gave a talk about Africalink. Funds from the meal went to Africalink. The Famine finished at 12noon on Sunday and the congregation organised a shared lunch to welcome the fasters back into the world of the eater.

As Easter approaches, GFU is planning to join in the Churches Together in Wendover services which happen at the end of Holy Week and look forward to fun together over the coming summer months.

Nicola sees Wendover as the ideal place to bring up her children – their second child is due in July – so good luck with the family and the youth project Nicola.