THREE firefighter apprentices from Warrington are heading to Nepal to see a new education facility that their fundraising efforts have helped to build.
A group of 11 firefighter apprentices have raised £30,000 over two years to fund the building of the much needed Early Years Centre in Kharikhola, a remote village near Lukla.
Leaving on March 10 for the 16 day trip, they will go on a trek for two and a half days to get to the village where the facility has been built, and then undertake various tasks to get the classrooms ready for the children.
They will sleep in tea houses and experience rural life in Nepal. This facility will provide strong foundations for learning, enabling the youngest children in the village access to an education.
Liam Burgess, aged 21, a cadet leader at Stockton Heath, said: “I am really excited for the journey to Nepal and the experience is has to offer to me. I feel it will help develop me as a person and will be a great sense of achievement and pride for the efforts I have put in to reach my personal fundraising target.”
Working with the charity Classrooms in the Clouds each apprentice was set a personal target of raising £2,700. This formed part of their development programme as Firefighter and Community Safety Apprentices with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).
Sam Rogers, Apprentice Coordinator for CFRS will be accompanying the team. He said: “The apprentices have worked really hard raising this money and have been involved in some great fundraising activities, some of which have taken them out of their comfort zone, such as skydiving and some which have been completed through pure determination like the Everest ladder climb.
“Thanks to their hard work and support the facility that’s been built with the money will make a huge difference to the whole community of Kharikhola. We are all now looking forward to seeing the building and meeting the children and elders of the village.”
Sam, who is also an on-call firefighter at Birchwood Fire Station, added: “I’m really proud of the apprentices and looking forward to seeing the fruits of all their hard work in Nepal. In my spare time I am an avid Warrington Wolves supporter and I’m hoping the children have heard of rugby league!”
The apprentices will be accompanied by three members of CFRS staff who will accompany the group while they are in Nepal. Once reaching the village they will need to finish off the rooms ready for students to use and hand the project over to the village at a celebration ceremony.
Sean Hooper, 19 said: “From a young age I have loved helping people of all ages and any background, for me being able to help someone whether that being getting a tin of beans down from a shelf for someone that can’t reach, to saving their life makes my day.
“That is why I am so looking forward to going out to Nepal to build this fantastic school with the wonderful Classrooms in the Clouds, it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Joining the fire service has been the best decision I have ever made, not only have I made lifelong friends but I have been able to challenge myself both mentally and physically.”
Following the Nepalese earthquakes in 2015 which killed over 8,000 people, injured more than 21,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, the need for this help is even more important and will give children for generations to come the opportunity of an education.
Racheal Main, 20, added: “I am really looking forward to go to Nepal as it will be a new and exciting adventure for me, as I have never done anything like this before.”