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Students head abroad to help school- and to develop skills

Published at 16:11, Friday, 24 May 2013 NW Evening Mail

The group of 11 students visited the Bulgarian town of Razlog as part of the Barrow-based RV Projects programme earlier this year.

The scheme is open to people age 18 and above looking to improve their employability skills.
An unused outhouse was converted into additional class-room space – and the group plastered, painted and sanded the room to get it into shape for the 30 children who attended the school.

RV Projects was founded in 2006 and each year the company organises up to four trips to Eastern Europe aimed at helping people aged 18 upwards to get back into work.

Jodey Ainsworth, projects team leader, said: “The group raised more than £1500 for the residential trip.
“When we came back there was still some money left over and the group are now trying to set up a pen pal scheme between schools in Barrow and Bulgaria.”

She added: “This group have been excellent – they raised so much money and they’ve gone out of their way to make sure the money was spent well.”

Hetti Sansom assistant team leader:"my first experience as a leader with Team 49 gave me two of the most enjoyable weeks in Bulgaria as part of 3 worthwhile and insightful months that I will never forget, I learnt a lot about myself, life and people. It was a privilege witnessing and being part of their personal development and journeys, their hard work, dedication, motivation and the care they gave the children was inspiring. I know some will continue to make a positive, long-term difference with the pen pal system."

The group, which was made up of Daniel Hughes, Nathaniel Pyatt, Luke Rawlinson, Kim Pllana, Lisa Clark, Sam Horne, Rowan Fell, Debbie Fredericks, Geoff Hodgson, Luke Hogg and Jack Middleton, returned last week and will receive a level one diploma in “personal development and helping in the community” for their efforts.

Miss Ainsworth added: “It was a boarding school and most of the children in the school had special needs. We converted an outhouse so there would be two more classrooms.”