Animal-lover Shonie hatches big plans for trans-Atlantic work experience

Shonie Piggford who is hoping to take up work experience in America.

Shonie Piggford who is hoping to take up work experience in America.

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ANIMAL-CRAZY Shonie Piggford is planning to jet off thousands of miles for the work experience trip of a lifetime.

The 18-year-old is an animal care student at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus and is hoping to further her studies with a work placement in America.

Shonie has managed to secure herself a three-week placement in a conservation centre in North Carolina where she will learn more about animal care and helping improve the environment in which they live.

But the student needs to raise about £2,000 to help get her there.

She has organised fund-raising activities including bag packing in supermarkets, cake sales and putting her wage from her Saturday job into the trip fund.

Shonie, of Durham, said: “I’m really nervous at the thought of going, but I know it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I don’t want to miss out on.

“The fund-raising has been difficult, but hopefully I’ll get there in the end.”

John Walshaw, an animal care lecturer at the college, said: “Shonie showed great interest in visiting the USA and the college has been here to help her achieve that, although she’s shown great initiative in finding the placement herself and coming up with ideas to help raise the money.

“It will be a fabulous experience for her and I wish her well in both her fund-raising and her placement.”