Wymondham fundraisers help African orphanage

Stephanie BrooksA chef at an award-winning Norfolk restaurant is giving up his job to work as a volunteer in an African orphanage.Stephanie Brooks

A chef at an award-winning Norfolk restaurant is giving up his job to work as a volunteer in an African orphanage.

Jon Gay, 19, alongside students Alice Clarke and Poppie Jones, both 18, will be jetting off to Ghana in September to teach young children, build homes and help out in a local hospital.

The trio, from Wymondham, are looking for sponsorship towards the costs of their trip, as well as funds they can use to buy school and play equipment for the children they help.

On Monday, they completed a 25-mile fancy dress bike ride from Brundall to Horsford and back, which raked in �600 towards the �1,800 total they need to raise.

Jon, who dressed as a banana for the challenge, said: 'It was absolutely boiling. I don't think the banana suit was the most sensible of choices.'

The former Wymondham High School head boy has worked as a chef at The Lavender House, in Brundall, for three years, but is saying goodbye to the job to take on the charity trip.

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'It's scary because when I come back I'm going to be unemployed for the first time, but it's such a worthwhile cause. I would give it up for them,' he said.

'I'm really excited about it. I wanted to do something which was outside the normal nine to five.'

During their two-month experience, the small group will travel to the Kwahu South District of Ghana where they will work in an orphanage with children who have lost their families to AIDS.

They will take classes at a nearby primary school and shadow medics at the Atibie Hospital, where four doctors treat 200,000 people.

The trio will also get their hands dirty building homes for some of the poorest in the area, but they will need to pay for the materials.

They will also help repair the roof on the school and paint the orphanage.

Once their costs are met, all the additional money raised will be used to help those they meet.

'All the money we take we will spend personally - it won't be put into a big charity pot where you don't see it. We will make sure it gets spent on the people out there,' Jon said.

For more information on the trip or to sponsor the group, visit http://ghana2010volunteers.webs.com

Are you raising money for a charitable trip? Contact Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk