AN animal care student has started a fund-raising drive to fulfil a dream of travelling to Africa as a volunteer.
Rebecca Sankey, 20, from Chester-le-Street, a first-year student at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, has secured a place to travel to Ghana with charity organisation Thrive Africa and work in an orphanage.
The former Red Rose Primary School pupil, who is studying for a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care, is hoping to raise £1,500 to fund the three-week trip in March. She will also be tying in her studies by taking part in work experience at the Page Croc Pond Safari Park.
Rebecca, who is mum to two-year-old Harley, said: “I am really excited about the trip to Africa next year, but at the same time I am really nervous about the whole experience. I get butterflies just thinking about it.
“With being a mum, I’m especially nervous about working in the orphanage. I had always wanted to go into a career working with either disabled children or animals, but after my son was born, I decided working with children may be too emotionally distressing, so I decided to pursue the animal route, hopefully to have a career protecting animals in some capacity or even working as a veterinary nurse.
“I’m really happy that I have started the course at Houghall. It’s a completely new way of learning for me, and I really enjoy it.
“Everyone is really friendly and so helpful.” Ian Hall, assistant programme leader in animal studies at the Durham college, said: “We are all really proud of Becca. She is a model student, and this volunteer experience will certainly benefit her when she moves into a working environment.”
Rebecca has set up a fund-raising page through Thrive Africa at http://thriveafrica.co.uk/fundraising-page/?id=434.