Jack Lundie, Deputy Editor of BBC – Blue Peter and Dr Paul Michael Knapton of the British Heart Foundation visited the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on the evening of Saturday 19 May 2007 to conclude their two projects that the Mandir had been working closely with them for. The two distinguished guests arrived in the evening festival assembly shortly after 8pm and were welcomed by the trustees.
With the help of enthusiastic young volunteers, children from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and The Swaminarayan School had collected 4,221 pairs of shoes for the Blue Peter Shoebiz appeal, in support of a worldwide UNICEF campaign, aimed at helping needy children in Malawi orphaned through AIDS. Many of the pairs of shoes collected were new and unopened which provided a testimony to the generosity of the donors. The children had launched the appeal four months previously in the presence of Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere on Saturday 27 January 2007. Jack Lundie presented a certificate in the assembly in recognition of the collective efforts of the BAPS organisation and offered his gratitude and praise for the dedication and commitment of the volunteers.
Also in the evening assembly, the Director for Prevention and Care at the British Heart Foundation was presented a cheque of £25,000 for the funds collected by volunteers of BAPS nationally, from this year’s Annual Sponsored Walk. This year’s event – held on Sunday 15 April 2007 at 10 centres across the country – contributed funds for the BHF to facilitate vital research into heart disease. Dr Knapton praised the spirit of volunteerism and the meticulous organisation of the walk and offered his gratitude for the welcome he was given on this his first visit to the mandir.