Travelling teen’s bid for funds

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A Heanor family are racing to raise £800 - so a charitable teen can fly to Kenya on an education mission.

The Purdy family of Laceyfields Road, who are mum Colleen, 43; dad Steve, 47; son Adam, 16, and daughter Lauren, 18, are this week living off just £1 of food each a day as part of the Live Below the Line charity event.

And they are all doing it to raise funds for daughter Lauren - who needs to collect £800 to go on an International Citizen’s Service run mission to Kenya to help with education projects in one of the poorest areas of Africa.

The family have until mid October to stump up the funds for Lauren’s commendable gap-year project.

She said: “I had always planned to do a gap year and travel , this just seemed like an exciting thing to do.

“I think lots of people see Africa on the news and the images of kids out there starving, but the people are so happy and willing to learn - I don’t think that’s portrayed enough in the media.

“I want go out there and see it for myself so hopefully I can change people’s perceptions of the place.”

Lauren, who just received an A* an A and a B in her A-Level grades from Aldercar Community and Language College, has gained a place on a project to Kilifi, on the Kenyan coast.

There she would be staying with a family and carrying out a host of different educational programs in the community, all with the aim of tackling poverty.

But Lauren cannot go unless she raises the £800 to pay for her place on the once-in-a lifetime three month project.

“I’ve been selling cards and cakes at car boots and at my mum and dad’s workplaces.” She said. “This week we’ll be living off a pound a day to raise more.”

“We haven’t got a lot yet though, we only found out I’d got a place last week.”

But the 18-year-old, who has deferred her place studying psychology at Surrey University for a year, is trying not to let the nerves get the better of her.

“I’m excited and nervous,” she said. “I hear that the first month people tend to want to come home; but by the third they don’t want to leave. I’m preparing to find the first month tough.”

Kilifi in Kenya is home to around 740,000 people and is the second poorest district in the country.

To donate to Lauren, head to her Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/laurenpurdy.