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The Corporation

Posted: 18/05/09

Students in fundraising drive for African adventure

Three West Nottinghamshire College students are busy with last-minute fundraising ideas in the hope of continuing with their plans to help orphans and schoolchildren in Ghana this summer.

Abigail Price (19) and Samuel Allen (20), who are studying A Levels, along with hairdressing student Nicky Swinscoe (18), are looking forward to taking part in a cultural trip with Students’ Union sabbatical officer Luke Frakes and schools liaison co-ordinator Emma Leaver.

The volunteering project has been arranged in conjunction with national company V Involved, which is an independent charity working to inspire a new generation of volunteers aged 16-25 in England. Its aim is to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of volunteering opportunities for young people.

The West Nottinghamshire College group decided upon Ghana as they want to make a positive impact on a community which they feel deserves some attention and new connections with young people.

They are hoping to visit the village of Mpraeso, where they will spend two weeks with children aged between six and 17 at the village’s orphanage and school.  They want to get the children involved in sporting activities, team-building events and talking about life and family life in Africa.

Luke said: “We’ve been busy fundraising for nearly two years in order to get this project off the ground.  We really want this trip to Ghana to be an excellent volunteering opportunity for our students as they’ve been working really hard to fund it through their own savings.

“We are asking for any donation, however small, so that we can ensure this once-in-a-lifetime adventure can still take place and we can try to bring some happiness and helpfulness to the children in Mpraeso.

“This visit will also enable our students to take part in the national V50 award, which is an award they can achieve if they commit to 50 hours of volunteering time as a group.  We know that we can do this –and more – once we reach Ghana, and it would make us so proud to actually get there and start the volunteering in earnest.”

Abigail, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, said: “I’m really excited about the prospect of being involved in this brilliant volunteering opportunity.  There aren’t many opportunities in this area for such things and I am proud that West Notts are helping to get young people involved and motivated in helping others on this scale.

“Since looking at going to Ghana to volunteer it has opened my eyes to the benefits of volunteering and encouraged me to get involved with other projects. Sam and I have already signed up to volunteer with another organisation throughout the summer holidays.

“It would be great if more of our local community could help us raise the remaining cash, as it will be these fundraisers – as well as the students travelling to Ghana – who can really make a difference”

Students are planning to hold a prize raffle to raise cash for the trip.  Many local companies have joined in with their support by offering prizes for the raffle, which will be drawn on 1 June.

Prizes include cinema tickets, a photo shoot with framed photo, bowling for eight people as well as tickets to a Mansfield Town football match.  Raffle tickets cost £1 and can be purchased from Luke in the Students’ Union office at the College’s Derby Road site.

More fundraising activities are being planned over the coming weeks to bring in much-needed funds.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can contact Luke on 01623 627191 ext 8327.