Naval officers help orphans in Sierra Leone

Credit: Royal Navy

Sailors from the Plymouth-based Royal Navy warship HMS Portland have spent their patrol rest period helping orphans.

The frigate's crew volunteered for two days at the Heaven Home and Saint Georges Foundation orphanages in Sierra Leone.

Engineers re-wired one of the orphanages, mended their main generator which was broken for a year and completed basic plumbing jobs and fixed showers.

The sailors also joined the children in story-telling and a game of football.

Flight Commander Lieutenant Laura Cambrook, in charge of the frigate's Lynx helicopter, said, "it's been a really worthwhile couple of days. Despite having already been through so much in their short lives the children are full of joy and were so much fun to be around."

"It is easy to forget how lucky we are in the UK. These children have nothing, but they are just so happy."

HMS Portland last visited Sierra Leone in 2014 and is due back in Plymouth next month, after 37,000 miles sailing through the North and South Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

Credit: Royal Navy