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Tori Paul travels to Blanco

01 Feb 2014

Our students are not only good at what they do, they’re amazing and this doesn’t only apply to their hairdressing and beauty therapy talent. Hairdressing student Tori Paul reached out to the village of Blanco, located in South Africa’s Western Cape province, earlier this year, through a cross community trip organised by Hammer Youth Club and Ardoyne Youth Club. Tori is a volunteer youth worker at Hammer Youth Club and heard about the trip to South Africa. After submitting her application Tori attended an interview and was successful in securing one of the six places from her youth club.

Along with six other volunteers from Ardoyne Youth Club and led by Alan Waite and Thomas Turley, Tori met with the whole team every Thursday night to make preparations for the trip, fundraising for almost a year beforehand, with initiatives such as pamper nights, events, bag packing and selling wrist bands. Tori also donated £900 of her own money to fund the group trip. The total amount fundraised went towards the group’s travel, food and accommodation costs, but also paid for the building of a park in the region and feeding the poor. The money raised also funded a summer scheme for the children of Blanco.

During her trip to Blanco, which took place in February this year, Tori (pictured above, second from right) got involved in cleaning rubbish from the streets and cleaning and renovating the local park. She was also involved in the summer scheme which saw children from Blanco travel to a strawberry farm to get involved in games, face painting and dressing up. The children were also fed during their time with the team. The local children were in groups of 4 to 7 years old, 8 to 13 years old and 14 to 17 years old. The older age group spent time receiving youth group guidance, with Tori and the other youth workers asking them about their lives. The purpose of the summer scheme was to give all the children time away from their normal lives. Back in Blanco Tori got involved with the food runs, helping to prepare the food and walking around the town to give the food to the poor. She also attended the local clinic to distribute food to the people there.

This was a really important trip to Tori, one which has left her eager to return to South Africa again. She is hoping to join the volunteers as a youth leader in 2015, during a month long trip to Blanco. This trip will see Tori travel a week before the rest of the group to make initial preparations. Her time in the region has obviously had an impact and we look forward to finding out about her future involvement in the initiative. Well done Tori!


I love training at The Academy. It is a great experience and the staff are lovely.

Christine Spiers View all

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