A GROUP of students are preparing for an experience of a lifetime working with children and supporting families in Zambia.
The six year 12 students from Bede Academy, in Blyth, will spend two weeks in the African country this summer.
They will join 18 other sixth formers from Bede’s sister schools – Emmanuel College in Gateshead, Trinity Academy, Doncaster, and The King’s Academy, Middlesbrough – who have also been selected for the expedition.
Bede assistant vice principal Chris Young said: “Places were limited and students had to apply.
“We had many more applications than the six places available, which shows how our students have been inspired by this opportunity to help others overseas.
“The final group were chosen for their character, what contribution they could make and for explaining what they would get out of a chance like this.”
The group will be based at the Ndubaluba outdoor centre, in a rural part of the country four hours north of the capital Lusaka.
Laura Rolt, 17, said: “We will be working at an orphanage where the children have lost their parents to HIV Aids.
“People think you have to stay away from them, but I’m sure the children will want to be cuddled and we’ll be doing that and playing with them.”
Jamie Brown, 16, added: “We’ll also be doing home based care, whether it’s digging someone’s garden or helping in their house.
“I think it will put our lives here into perspective and perhaps make us realise what we take for granted.”
They will also help at the Chengelo school, organise a fun day for local children and take part in an overnight camp at Mount Mumpu.
Rachel Byrom, 16, said: “It will be a big eye opener, and the experience of a lifetime. My parents wish they had the chance to do something like this.”
Callum Kewen, Jordan Holroyd and Kim Cole are also going on the trip, and the group is currently raising £3,300 together, in addition to £600 for each student.
Shoppers in Blyth recently donated £921 during a bag pack at Asda ran by the students.
Any local businesses or individuals who wish to support the trip, should contact Mr Young at Bede Academy on (01670) 545111.