A LAW student is swapping her studies for a building site in a Peruvian village.
Helen Gaughan has set her heart on a dream trip of a lifetime which will see her jet out to Peru in June.
During her two-week stay, she will help build homes for widows and single mothers, crèches for orphans and teach English.
The trip has been organised by charity Reach Out Volunteers and will also involve her learning Spanish and experiencing the Peruvian way of life.
Helen, from Thornberry Close, Boldon Colliery, said: “I’m really excited but I’m also terrified at the same time.
“The rest of the volunteers are coming from Australia and America and I’m the only one who will be travelling out from the North East, so will have to make the trip out there on my own.”
Helen was inspired to sign up to the trip, which will also see her head out to the jungle as part of a conservation exercise, after representatives from the charity visited Northumbria University, where she is a second-year law student.
“When I heard about how single mothers are cast away from society, I just wanted to help,” added Helen.
“My parents have been supportive and are behind me 100 per cent. It will be a fantastic experience and knowing that I’ll be helping families who have nothing. It’s a fantastic feeling.”
But before the 20-year-old can pack her cases, she must raise £2,500 to cover the cost of getting there and for the much-needed materials to allow building work to happen.
Helen has already taken part in a zip slide to kickstart her fundraising.
She will be holding a charity night on March 10 at the Quayside Exchange in Sunderland.The event, starting at 7.30pm, will include music, entertainment by comedy mindreader Kennedy and a raffle.
Tickets cost £6 and are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org