South Shields teen set for ‘life-changing’ challenge in South Africa

Danielle Boddy with members of the Lions of Zululand dance group.
Danielle Boddy with members of the Lions of Zululand dance group.
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A teenager from South Tyneside is readying herself for what she believes will be a life-changing experience as she prepares to travel out to South Africa for a 12-month volunteering course.

Danielle Boddy, 18, is planning to do voluntary work at the Helen Bishop Home for children with cerebral palsy at Kimberley in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.

It’s going to be such a life-changing experience, and I think I’ll come back a completely new person.

Danielle Boddy

Danielle, of Chirton Avenue, Marsden, South Shields, will look after the children from day to day, as well as teaching them English and basic skills for the charitable organisation Project Trust.

However, the teenager, a former pupil of Newcastle’s Royal Grammar School, needs to raise £5,900 to help pay for her travel to South Africa in September and medical expenses.

Along with bag-packs and sponsored events, she is holding a fundraiser at the Hedworth Hall in South Shields on Friday, June 26.

It will have an African theme, with a hot buffet being provided by a South African chef and a live performance by the dance group Lions of Zululand.

Danielle said: “I’m really, really looking forward to it.

“I know I’m going to be homesick and end up crying for about three months, but I’m prepared for it.

“It’s going to be such a life-changing experience, and I think I’ll come back a completely new person.

“The fundraising is going well so far. I’ve got about £3,000 left to raise, but fingers crossed the event at Hedworth Hall will really help with that.

“It’s going to be a very exciting night, and it is fantastic that the dance group from South Africa will be performing.

“There will also be a raffle on, as well as the South African buffet.

“Originally, it was going to be a leaving do, but we expanded it and made it more of a party. You don’t have to know me to go along. It’s going to be a great night with a South African theme, and everyone is welcome.”

The event will start at the Dean Road hall at 7pm, with tickets costing £10.

Those who would like to attend can book a place by calling 07860 862902, emailing danielleboddy@hotmail.co.uk or going online and visiting www.southafricannight.eventbrite.co.uk