Cheque for students off to Namibia

A CHARITY has donated �5,000 to a group of 12 students who are off on a trip of a lifetime to Namibia this summer, to work on a community project.

The youngsters are planning to work at a school in Africa, teaching and renovating a building, as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award .

The dozen students - seven current pupils at Soham Village College and five former pupils of the college who are now at sixth form college - needed to raise more than �30,000 to pay for their three week trip.

They have been busy fund raising, running cake stalls and quizzes, and have been looking for sponsorship from the community.

They have worked very hard, and put a lot of effort into raising the money they need, each student has to pay �3,200,” said the college’s Duke of Edinburgh Award co-ordinator, Adam Stanford

“We will spend eight days in Namibia trekking, and will spend another week on a school project.”

Mr Stanford and teacher Scott Smith will accompany the group. “It is just sinking with the students, that we are now very close to going, the trip has been planned for more than a year.”

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Chairman of the Soham Moor Charity, Jill Hobbs, presented the cheque to the students, and wished them well.

The Soham Moor Charity was founded in 1665 by a group of farmers who had helped with the drainage of The Fens around Soham at that time.

They dedicated some of their less fertile land to establish the Commons and Horse Fens. They also gave 116 acres of grazing pasture at Soham Moor to raise funds for the first Schoolmaster, and later the first Free School in Soham. This school became the Soham Grammar School, which a few decades ago became Soham Village College.

The charity still rents out land for grazing, one of these meadows is an important SSSI, with rare orchids. They also own the Bypass Lake. They annually donate thousands of pounds to the three Soham schools. They also offer book grants for university students who went to school in Soham.

*Anyone who would like to help finance the trip can contact Mr Stanford by email at: