1 October 2008

Whilst iPods and mobiles may be essential items for the average teenager, 16-year-old Isabella Goss said that she did not miss modern technology whilst on her recent Raleigh expedition to India. Isabella, from Welling School, Bexley, said her outlook had changed since taking part in the expedition. "I'm not bothered about watching television or any technology really. I think as I was out there for three weeks without modern technology, I have got used to going back to basics" she said.

Isabella was one of 20 Year 11 pupils selected from Welling School to take part in a 21 day expedition in Karnataka, India. Leading youth and education charity Raleigh partnered with London Challenge to take the students to India in July. The expedition was facilitated by funding Raleigh received from youth volunteering charity v.

The expedition is part of a unique scheme run by Raleigh to encourage school age pupils to volunteer to raise their aspirations and improve their confidence and self-esteem. It is run on the same principles as Raleigh's 5 and 10 week expeditions - with pupils responsible for managing their own building project, working as a team with the local community, and living in self-sufficient camp conditions.

Isabella said: "The Raleigh expedition has influenced me immensely. To see people so happy when they have so very little makes us in this part of the world look greedy and unappreciative of what we have. Having the chance to go to India was life changing and made me appreciate my life a lot more. I have become more self-motivated and determined. I now feel as if I can tackle any challenges that are thrown at me."

During their expedition, the Welling pupils constructed eco-sanitation facilities, also known as composting toilets, for 15 families in the village of Kandegala, Karnataka. A six day trek saw the pupils carrying all their own equipment and supplies. Isabella added: "It's not only physical strength that is needed on expedition but also a lot of mental strength too."

Zara Flynn, Head of Year 11 at Welling School who also took part in the expedition, said that the experience had a real impact on the students' development. Zara said: "The students definitely gained from this experience. They witnessed first-hand a totally different culture and were proud to have provided the community with such a valuable resource. The students worked really hard to finish the eco-sanitation facilities in record time. We could not have wished for a more fabulous experience."

Ends

Notes to Editors:

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Isabella Goss, please contact Anne Grenyer on 020 7183 1298 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Raleigh

Raleigh is a youth and education charity. Since 1984 our expeditions have inspired 30,000 people from all walks of life, nationalities and ages to be all they can be, helping them develop new skills, friendships and make a difference to communities and environments across the world. For more information about Raleigh and the charity's expeditions to Borneo, Costa Rica & Nicaragua and India, visit raleighinternational.org or telephone 020 7183 1270.

We all have an expedition within us. Find yours at raleighinternational.org

London Challenge

London Challenge was launched in 2003 and aims to improve secondary schools within Greater London. The programme will run until 2011. London Challenge is led by Andrew Adonis, Minister for London Schools, and Sir Mike Tomlinson, Chief Adviser for London Schools. It is delivered in partnership with schools, the 33 Greater London local authorities, and all those working in education in the city.

v

v is an independent charity set up in 2006 to champion youth volunteering. Its aim is to inspire a new generation of young people aged 16-25 to volunteer. To do this v is working to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of volunteering opportunities available to young people. It is supported by the Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office.