A TEENAGER is set for a volunteering opportunity of a lifetime – but needs Mail readers’ help to get there.
Sarah Tough, 19, has been accepted on a volunteering placement at Easter Seals Camp Horizon, in Alberta, Canada, during her gap year.
Easter Seals is an outdoor education camp for children and adults with special needs ranging from severe physical and mental disabilities to diabetes.
Some of the service users could be terminally ill and it will be their last chance to take part in activities such as white-water rafting, climbing, and swimming, with the help of volunteers like Sarah.
But Sarah says she is struggling to raise funds to get to the camp, despite working all of her spare hours and juggling her college studies with first aid and life-saving courses necessary for the scheme.
She has foregone nights out for the past year and new clothes and is even having to sell her beloved first car, a Vauxhall Corsa, to save up the money needed to go.
But she is still struggling with costs, including £300 for a medical, £1,000 for flights and insurance and £300 to buy kit.
Sarah, from Hatfield Place, in Peterlee, has already raised around £1,100 for fees and costs herself for the trip, from April 23 until December 31.
As well as being in the final year of a BTEC National Diploma in sport and exercise at East Durham College, she also works part-time at Asda in Peterlee.
She is considering a sponsored bag-pack at the Peterlee, Hartlepool or Seaham store to boost her fundraising effort.
Sarah, whose parents are Bob and Julie Tough, said: “I haven’t done anything like this before.
“I think it will be an extremely hard challenge but I will get so much out of it.
“I’m really scared about going, but in a good way.
“I’ve cut everything out except the necessities to be able to go there, but still need help raising funds.
“It’s going to be an extreme struggle if I can’t get help and support from people.”
Sarah, who has brothers called Gary, Steven, and Brian, said when she returns from her trip, she hopes to do a degree in sport and exercise and eventually be a PE teacher, possibly helping people with disabilities.
She is taking part in the volunteer programme with an organisation called Lattitude Global Volunteering.
Anyone who can help Sarah with fundraising, or is willing to sponsor her, can contact her on (0191) 4476975.