The former Hornchurch teacher who founded Stand by me 

Category: Charity 153

Former technology teacher David Spurdle, 74, of Hornchurch begun his charity work after answering a request for volunteers to help carry out carpentry work and help the Tearfund organisation build an X-ray room in a hospital in the West Bank.

“This started me working with kids overseas. I then went to Kenya, Haiti and Nepal working with Tearfund and then in 1983, during the civil war in Beirut, that’s when I really felt I needed to do something positive on a regular basis.

“I started raising money through the Dury Falls School [now the site of Havering Sixth Form College, Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch].

“The kids there were amazing and it grew around the borough.”

Mr Spurdle founded Stand by Me, Butts Green Road, Emerson Park, in 1983 helping a total of 62 boys, now the charity provides homes and schools to 3,500 vulnerable children in 11 countries

The Stand by me charity has received a lot of support from local schools and in June, pupils from Marshalls Park School travelled with the charity to Nepal to help it improve living conditions and a play area. They have also received similar support from Albany School and Hall Mead School bringing joy to vulnerable children’s lives.

Mr Spurdle explained how the people from around the borough helped the youngsters overseas.

“For £20 per month they [people] write to the children and get to know them. Some people have been sponsoring children for 15, 16, 17 years. They see them from the cradle to university.

“We have great support from individual people. It’s amazing.”

To help the charity carry out its vital work. visit

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