Dereham students host Christmas craft fair to raise money for community service trip

A group of students is fundraising for a community service trip to Borneo next summer

A group of students is fundraising for a community service trip to Borneo next summer - Credit: Archant

Rather than applying to university or packing her bags for a new campus, one Dereham student decided to take a gap year serving others.

Tabitha Street, along with four other Dereham Sixth Form College students - Nesta James, Megan Elsom, Lucie Eke, Jess Parfitt - are spending four weeks volunteering in Borneo next summer.

'I knew I wanted to do a gap year but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. The five of us were all really inspired by this trip and quickly became a little group,' Tabitha said.

To prepare for the journey, the group is hoping to each raise £4000 for Camps International, the organisation coordinating the trip.

Tabitha's latest fundraising effort will be a Christmas craft fair held tonight at Northgate High School from 7pm to 9pm. About 30 stallholders will be in attendance, selling everything from jewellery to cosmetics to festive crafts.

'I've never done much fundraising stuff so this was a challenge for me. I was able to find small businesses and contacted them and a majority said: 'Absolutely, yes, that sounds amazing.'' Tabitha said.

Camps International has been supporting people and wildlife in poor communities since 2002. They have 25 permanent camps in Africa, Asia and South America, where over 100 different projects are taking place at any one time. The group specifically focuses on the issues of poverty, healthcare, education, welfare, conservation and environmental awareness.

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For Tabitha, she has always been intrigued and inspired by the environment.

'I've always been interested in conservation and the outdoors - I used to watch David Attenborough all the time growing up. The trip is half conservation-based and half community-based. We're working alongside the local community and even have the chance to visit an orangutan sanctuary.

'I have no doubt this will be a life-changing and rewarding experience for all of us, being able to serve the less fortunate. I'm this will remain with us forever and we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren about it in years to come,' she said.

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