Sudbury cadet kicks off fundraising to support charity expedition to Ecuador
When Sudbury cadet Amy Sheehan learned about her school’s upcoming charity trip to South America, her fundraising efforts had begun just hours later.
The teenager is trying to raise £4,300 to pay for her travels to Ecuador in July 2020, joining Camps International on various initiatives in aid of local people and wildlife.
The expedition, which will cover the Ecuadorian highlands, the coast and the Amazon rainforest, is set to include projects such as building new homes, installing amenities for residents, planting trees and improving habitats for animals.
Amy, who has been an RAF cadet in the 2470 Sudbury Squadron for just over a year, is seeking fundraising support from the Royal Air Force, local businesses and other organisations.
“The trip is a unique chance to volunteer and really live the local culture, but, most of all, to give something back to the people,” she said.
“I will help adults and children improve their quality of life in a sustainable way, and support various environmental projects to safeguard the future of some pretty impressive wildlife, including sea turtles.
“Obviously, £4,300 is a massive amount of money to raise for a 14-year-old, but I am determined to do it, with hopefully a little bit of help.”
By going on the trip, the 14-year-old, formerly of Thorpe Morieux, also hopes to gain skills and academic credits for college, to help boost her ambition to become an RAF officer.
Her mother, Maria Hilton, who has a military background herself, told the Free Press her daughter had set up a Go Fund Me webpage within an hour of arriving home from school last Tuesday.
“It’s typical Amy,” she said. “For a 14-year-old girl, she is very advanced in her mental attitude.
“She got home and said ‘I’m going on this trip and I’m going to raise the money.’ She was very keen.
“It sounds fantastic. I would love her to go.
“She’s very proactive, particularly when it’s for charity. I have no doubts she will raise the money.
“I have never seen her quite so determined. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Amy plans to hold various fundraising events, such as cake sales, sponsored car washes and car boot sales, over the next year, to try to raise the money in time for the May 2020 deadline.
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/ngvufw-ecuador-2020.