A FOUNDATION set up in memory of a much-loved medical student raised more than £1,700 at its annual charity lunch.

Named in honour of a late Colchester County High School for Girls student, the Catherine Bullen Foundation was set up to fight poverty in rural Namibia.

Catherine died suddenly from severe gastroenteritis while visiting the African country on her way to a medical placement in Tanzania and Zambia in 2002.

Since her death, the foundation, set up by her parents, Roger and Linda, has raised thousands for projects in Namibia, including its latest scheme to build a multi-purpose hall at a primary school.

Mr and Mrs Bullen live in West Mersea and the latest charity fundraiser was held at Titash Indian restaurant.

The venue was packed with friends, family and supporters of the charity who helped raised a total of £1,716 through donations, a raffle and an auction.

A spokesman for the charity said: “After an excellent meal provided by Dil and his staff, the diners were updated by Roger on the foundation’s current project which is a multi-purpose hall at the Omuhaturua Primary School Hostel in Otjimanangombe.

“This will provide a venue for school assemblies and meetings which are currently held outside, come rain or shine, a place for the hostel children to go in the evening after darkness to play indoor sport such as netball, volley ball and table tennis.

“It will also provide a venue for the community to hold meetings and to have an indoor covered market at the weekends.

“The hall is scheduled to be completed in April this year.”

Work has already begun on the foundation’s next project which is to provide a borehole for use by Eiseb Primary School and the area’s health clinic.

To find out more about the charity or donate to its funds, visit namibia-aid.org.uk.