Gran builds a house with tablet for homeless Kenyan family

Margaret Bayne with the Kenyan family she helped. Picture: Contributed
Margaret Bayne with the Kenyan family she helped. Picture: Contributed
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A SCOTS granny has come to the rescue of a Kenyan family who had been squatting on a beach for five years by raising cash to build a house - by selling homemade tablet.

Margaret Bayne, from Perth, learned of the fate of the destitute family from a neighbour and decided to do something to help.

The grandmother of five baked an astonishing 873 trays of the Scottish treat and sold bars at £1 each to ensure that widow Elizabeth Charo and her four children had a permanent roof over their heads.

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Mrs Bayne learned to bake tablet, which is a Scottish delicacy similar to fudge, at the age of 14.

The retired social worker sold the popular treat to friends and members of the public to raise £10,476.

Mrs Bayne, who attends North Church in Perth, said her belief in God helped her overcome doubters who never thought raising such an amount was possible.

The Perth street pastor travelled to Kenya to meet and hand over the keys to Vanilla Cottage in Kikambala to Elizabeth.

The final stage of the construction, the roof and rendering, was completed earlier this year.

The achievement means that Mrs Charo and her children , Philip, 14, Kezia, 12, Daniel, 10 and Caroline, 7, have gone from struggling to suvive on the Kenyan coastline to living in a village an hour’s drive from Mombassa.

Mrs Bayne advised future Kirk fundraisers to “have a vision and keep focused on the dream”.

Her remarkable ability to secure donations has attracted interest from groups across Perth.

Mrs Bayne recently gave a presentation to the Perth Guild who were interested to learn about the secret of her success.

She revealed she had been asked to embark on other fundraising drives but was “taking a rest” to enjoy time with her grandchildren.

Mrs Bayne joked that her success means her husband, Bruce, can “stop worrying about the gas bill”.

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She named the building Vanilla Cottage because she used the sweet essence in her baking and cottage is a Scottish word.

Mrs Bayne keeps in regular contact with the family, via letters, who write to tell her about how much their lives have improved.

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