Four Ribble Valley teenagers will fly out on Friday for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India to help treat people with cleft palates.
St Augustine’s pupils Charles Knott and Molly Marsland (15), former pupil Elizabeth Golding (17), who now attends St Mary’s College, Blackburn and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil Ben Fourie (15) will accompany 42 doctors, surgeons and nurses from the Northern Cleft Foundation on a 12-day trip to Nagpur.
To date, the charity has provided free operations for 1,200 children and adults with facial deformities or cleft palates and the group has been fund-raising for months to operate on as many patients as possible.
Charles, who hopes this trip will help him follow his dream to study dentistry at university, said: “I’m really looking forward to it and I hope it will be a great experience. I’ve never been so far away from home before and I hope to learn a lot while I’m out there.”
Charles’ proud mum, Louise Hilton Knott, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for Charles, and although he is excited he is a bit apprehensive as it’s so far from home and he has never travelled outside Europe before. It’s also a life changing experience, as the students will be able to experience life in a different part of the world and witness at first-hand poverty in that part of the country.”
Following his trip, Charles hopes to report on his experiences for a medical magazine.
Molly’s mum, Alison, added: “Molly’s aunt, Hazel, has been going out with the foundation for years and it will be a fantastic opportunity for Molly.
“I’m nervous for her going over there of course, but I hope she has a great time. She will come into contact with situations that she has never come across before and I hope that it will be rewarding.”
St Augustine’s headteacher Mr Michael Wright, said: “The school is very proud of Molly, Charles and Elizabeth, who are undertaking this trip; it will be a great chance for them to gain experience of medicine and dentistry, which they are interested in as future careers. The school is fully behind them and I’m sure they will have a very rewarding time in India.”
l Louise baked cakes and sold them to members of the 200 Club after the service at St Mary’s Church, Langho, on Sunday. She managed to raise over £1,000 for the Northern Cleft Foundation and was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who had supported her.