A STONEHAVEN mother has praised the generosity of young people in the town for helping her teenage son reach his fundraising target of £5,000 in just over three months.
Eighteen year-old Andrew Cameron, who has just completed his sixth year at Mackie Academy, was given the task of raising the cash in May, so that he could achieve his dream of spending a year in Thailand teaching conversational English to children with charity Project Trust.
Andrew achieved his target and set off for Thailand on August 24, but his mother Jenni says that it was all thanks to ‘a little help from his friends’.
She said: “I think the young people who helped Andrew to raise the money by coming along to the events and generally supporting him need to be thanked.
“Young people can sometimes get a bit of a bad press but these kids were absolutely brilliant and if it hadn’t been for them he might not have got there. Of course he had the help and support of his family but I am so pleased with the way his pals rallied round.”
Andrew raised the money by holding a quiz night at the bowling club, a stall at the Feein’ Market and a ceilidh at the Town Hall, as well as a bag pack at the Co-op supermarket on David Street which generated £900 over two days.
Mrs Cameron added: “The whole community need to be thanked really because everyone got behind Andrew and helped him out, and he had a lot of support from Mackie Academy.”
Andrew completed his fundraising by securing sponsorship from an Aberdeen-based company and local businesses also did their bit by donating gifts for raffles.
Speaking in May, Andrew said what made him want to get involved in the project: “I really feel like I have a passion for teaching. Even though this is not what I want to do in later life, I really like teaching younger children and I feel that I am a good teacher with a creative side that would be really good for making learning fun for younger children in Thailand.”
In order to be selected for the project, Andrew had to attend a week-long course with 36 other hopefuls on the Isle of Coll where Project Trust is based.
Project Trust was founded in 1967 as an educational charity on the Hebridean Isle of Coll in North West Scotland. Since then the charity has sent over 5,500 volunteers overseas. It sends 200 volunteers to 25 countries annually and is widely respected as one of the most experienced and professional gap year organisations in Britain.