We hear of many young students jetting off to spend a year travelling between the sixth form and university, or to delay the reality of work after three years in higher education, so what makes Anna Keeley’s plans any different you may ask?

We were drawn to Anna after seeing her at the fantastic Thame Food Festival this year, complete with makeshift sandwich board asking passers by to talk to her about her Gap Year fundraising. With such a bold approach to raising awareness, and seeing Anna spend all day talking to residents and visitors about her plans we wanted to find out more. Having had little time to stop for a chat at the festival, we recently got in touch to speak to Anna about her plans and how we can help a local lady achieve her dreams of helping those less fortunate than ourselves to better their lives.

Anna will be travelling to Honduras to improve the level of spoken English by offering main curriculum and supplementary lessons to under underprivileged young students. It is this input that can often make the difference between a students success or failure at gaining employment or a place at university. Anna will travel to an isolated community with little access to the best facilities or the most recent teaching graduates, and the demand for English teachers is at it’s greatest in such areas.

Anna will be travelling with an organisation called Project Trust, an educational charity and the UK’s original Gap Year provider specialising in 12 month volunteer placements for 17-19 year olds. Project trust sends roughly 250 volunteers to 23 countries world wide every year to provide young people with an opportunity to understand and immerse themselves in a community overseas. They are different to other suppliers of Gap Year volunteering as they ensure all projects are vetted for suitability for volunteers, and they ensure that none deprive local people of work. When asked why Anna chose Project Trust, she told us “I have two older brothers who went abroad with Project Trust to Bolivia and Guyana 6 and 8 years ago. Having seen how much of a positive effect it had on their lives,  the friendships, experiences, language skills and achievements they had gained, I was really keen to apply too”

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Project Trust is an easy Gap Year Option! Anna has had to attend a week long selection and a will attend a further week training on the Isle of Coll to ensure she is the right Volunteer for the project. When asked about the selection Anna said “It was going to the selection course on Coll in August and viewing how personalised an organisation it is (they get to know you really well so as to select you for exactly the right project where you will work best) when I realised fully what a fantastic opportunity spending a year abroad with Project Trust would be” Anna is now looking forward to the training in the Isle of Coll, saying that she  is “looking forward to meeting the other Honduras volunteers for the first time, being trained in the customs and culture of the country and also learn about how to best teach English in a primary school” before leaving for 12 months in August 2013.

In addition to training, Anna must raise £5,400.00 before she leaves in August 2013 which is no easy feat for anyone! Anna is also currently studying A Levels, making fundraising even more challenging.  Since Anna was selected by Project Trust in August, she has been spending her time designing and printing her fundraising leaflet, writing to charitable trusts and planning fundraising events. She told us “I have begun a scheme called “Raising millions by eating Millions” where I supply people with tubes of Millions sweets and then they leave the tube on a spare surface and collect odd 50 p pieces in them and then return them to me when full… As I am quite creative and into crafts, I will be offering a greetings card service which will be up and running soon where I will offer a range of 5 designs (with 3 Christmas themed) to be sold locally and at school. I am also planning a Quiz Night before Christmas locally which I am really enthusiastic about… (and)  a jazz music evening after Christmas” Look out for more information about these events on Thame TV as we will be sure to support her cause.

Anna is not just looking for finance, she would also like advice on fundraising, any donations for raffle prizes or services which may help raise awareness of her cause.

Lets get on board to help Anna achieve her goals, and really make a difference to the young children of Honduras! Anna has told us “I truly believe that it will be a life changing year with the challenges I will have to face by living and working for a year in a foreign community, being responsible for my own class and having to be extremely enthusiastic and self motivated. I believe that gaining such an intimate cultural awareness of a Central American country, establishing relationships with people from a world so different to my own and making a small positive impact on a community through helping with the education of young children is an extremely worthwhile activity before going back to university in England.”

We couldn’t agree more!

For more information on the work that Project Trust do, go to www.projecttrust.org.uk

To donate visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AnnaKeeleyHonduras, for more information go to http://annahonduraspt.tumblr.com/ or contact Anna by email keeley_anna@hotmail.co.uk