Help send me to Ghana! Seevic College student Liam appeals to the community to back his volunteer bid

Monday, 27 July 2015

GhanaA teenager from Rayleigh is aiming to raise £5,200 in order to embark on the trip of a lifetime as a volunteer teaching English in West Africa.

Liam Purnell, 18, who has just completed A-Levels at Seevic College, is appealing to local businesses and the community to back his bid and enable him to provide access to a quality education for primary school aged children in rural Ghana.

Liam is working with leading education charity Project Trust and has until the end of the year to raise the cash that will enable him to teach English, Science and ICT for eight months in 2016.

In order to raise funds Liam plans to hold quiz nights, coffee mornings, auctions and boot sales between now and December. He is also writing to business leaders in South Essex to seek their support.

So far Liam has received donations from friends, family and work colleagues plus staff,  Governors and the Student Association at Seevic College, who have donated £500 to the cause. 

Wendy Wallaker, Safeguarding & Wellbeing Co-ordinator at the College, said: "Liam was a College Governor, was very committed and his contribution was greatly valued by the Student Association, the Principal and the Governors.  In recognition of this and of what he hopes to achieve, we have been pleased to be able to help him."

Liam said: “I have been told throughout my life that the world is what you make of it. However, I am not happy with it. Young people in places like Ghana don’t have access to a quality education like we do in the UK; this limits their opportunities and it is not fair.

“I believe that everyone deserves to have a bright future. I know people are strapped for cash, but I want to make a difference and change the lives of other people for the better. I will be truly grateful to anyone who contributes towards this worthwhile cause.”

“I believe that everyone deserves to have a bright future."

During the trip Liam will be based in the rural Volta region on the west coast of Ghana – a far cry from his home in suburban South Essex. In addition to teaching English to young people and adults, Liam also hopes to set up after-school clubs, create a community football team and immerse himself in the local culture.

He adds: ““My friends and family – especially my mum – are quite nervous about the prospect of me travelling so far away from home alone. I’ll be living in a hut and won’t have a great deal of contact with home. But I know it will be an incredibly worthwhile experience that will change my life – and the lives of others - forever.”

Liam studied A-Levels in English Language & Literature, History and Applied Science at Seevic College, where he was also a Student Governor and an Executive Member of the College’s Student Association.

Seevic College Principal Nick Spenceley said: “Liam is an engaged, dynamic young man who wants to make his mark in the world. He has a fantastic social conscience and a very clear vision. He also has the ability  to share his enthusiasm and to motivate others.”

Liam first heard about Project Trust through the Careers Team at Seevic College. Project Trust is an education charity, founded in 1967, who specialist in sending volunteers to Africa, Asia and the Americas for a wide variety of long-term volunteering projects.

Liam previously attended The Sweyne Park School and works at The MegaCentre Rayleigh. A keen sportsman, he previously played football for Hullbridge FC and rugby for Rochford Hundred rugby club.

After completing his volunteer project in Ghana Liam hopes to attend university and to continue supporting educational projects around the world.

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