Trip of a lifetime for Avon Valley pupils after mammoth fundraising effort

Avon Valley pupils celebrate their achievement
Avon Valley pupils celebrate their achievement

After three years of fundraising, students and staff from Avon Valley School finally have enough money to embark on an African adventure.

They have raised the £46,500 required to fund a visit to Kenya for what will be a work experience placement of a lifetime.

“We are all feeling very excited and we’re counting down the days until we go.”

Year 10 pupil Charlotte Taylor

Back in September 2011, learning manager Amy Patterson set the ball rolling on what was to become a fundraising marathon, with her vision to take a group of students to Kenya in March 2015 as part of AVS Project Africa.

Students and staff have organised and run many successful fundraising events to raise the sum.

Group leader Amy Patterson said: “I am shocked but absolutely delighted that we have reached our fundraising goal.

“I feel privileged to be able to take these committed and hardworking students to experience life in Kenya. The fundraising has taken a lot of effort and we are all really grateful to the businesses and individuals who have supported us with our events, along with the students, staff, parents at Avon Valley and wider community.”

Some of the fundraising activities have been low key, such as bag packing, pub quizzes, raffles, a silent auction, and sponsored cycle.

But others have required a great deal of planning and energy such as climbing Snowdon and organising a dance show, summer fair, car boot sale, fancy-dress car wash, a fashion show and clothes sale, setting up a pop-up shop at the Clock Towers Shopping Centre and the running school’s Christmas fair.

Now the funds have been raised, Amy and her pupils will work alongside the charity Camps International in Kenya and contribute to community projects such as school building and conservation in Tsavo National Park.

In addition the AVS Project Africa team will work with local people on craft projects, and the students will have opportunity to teach English to local children.

Year 10 student Charlotte Taylor said: “It’s amazing that we’ve managed to raise this large amount of money for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“We are all feeling very excited and we’re counting down the days until we go.”

Fellow year 10 pupil Allisha Adams said: “I am really proud of what we have achieved as a group.

“I am looking forward to working on the community projects because I want to help give the local people a better standard of living. I am also looking forward to working with the local children.”