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Sophie Gorman

Many of you may remember the interview I did of Sophie last year. Sophie was trying to raise £2,000 in order to take part in the Raleigh International Project.  Well she worked hard and achieved this – she did cleaning jobs, washed cars, gardening work and also worked for 6 weeks in Cambridge for a Field technician doing soil samples. Sophie was then able to go with Raleigh International to Borneo for 2 months. She and 14 others learnt to be self sufficient by trekking through the jungle, sleeping in hammocks and rationing food. They helped to set up treks for others in the jungle learning how to do woodwork and making wood walks. On her return and to thank people who had helped support her Sophie gave a lantern show using puppets she had created herself to illustrate her adventures in the forest. Before she left for Borneo Sophie had re-applied to do VSO – ICS programme (for young people aged 18 – 25), which both her parents had done for 2 years in the 80’s in Kenya and Tanzania, and it’s where they met. Sophie was told on her first attempt that she wasn’t confident enough to do it so she wanted to show them that she was! As soon as she knew she had been accepted she had to fundraise for her trip, so she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps by cycling from Edinburgh but instead of going all the way to Tanzania like he did, Sophie decided to cycle to Ghent where her Dad is now works. It became a real family event – her Mum cycled to Yorkshire with her for the first 5 days, her Dad cycled to Hull with her, and her sister who is disabled did the final stretch from Zebrugge to Ghent.. She raised over £900 and is very grateful to everyone who helped her.

Sophie is now in Malindi on Kenya’s north coast, very close to where the terrorist attack recently took place. She is absolutely fine, living with a host family and is settling in well. We hope there won’t be any need to send her home prematurely. She working in a number of schools with disabled children and also teaching them about climate change. Sophie has decided to delay going to university until 2015 as she is very keen to go to Bournemouth where she will study film production. To see more photos of Sophie’s Borneo adventure click here >