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November 28 2013.

After attending Seaford Head School, Catherine Sage, 17, is studying for her "A" levels at Sussex Downs Lewes College. She lives in Seaford and is looking forward to an adventure in The Gambia starting on Friday the 13th of December this year.

Sussex Central YMCA has been running the Gambia Project for many years, with the goal of teaching young people skills for maintaining high standards of behaviour, personal development and direction in their education. It is with this group that Catherine will travel, to learn how valuable the opportunities are that we have in life by seeing the difficulties faced by children and young people living in less fortunate and culturally very different situations.

Catherine explains: "I have been given an itinerary for the week in Gambia. The places we are visiting include an orphanage, a deaf school, a hospital in Banjul and local people's houses. We plan to arrange activities for our visits and we are bringing clothes, toys and stationery to give children donations, and we may incorporate sport into our visits. For example showing the children at the deaf school sport and playing sport with the children at the orphanage."
Catherine needed to raise funds herself, and the Rotary Club of Seaford was delighted to donate £250 towards her £750 costs, as can be seen in the picture of President Michael Logan with Catherine.

Pictures and text by Mike Hemmings