Raleigh International: Falkirk teen loses £4000 and gap year trip to Nepal

A teenager from Falkirk who hoped to make a gap year trip to Nepal with a charity has had his plans dashed.

Thursday, 26th May 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th May 2022, 5:27 pm

Calum Hamilton, 17, who has just completed his sixth year at Falkirk High School, had planned to spend part of a gap year with Raleigh International on a ten-week trip to Nepal.

But last week the charity announced it had gone bust.

It blamed UK overseas funding cuts, the Covid pandemic and foreign travel restrictions, as well as “increased economic pressures”.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Calum Hamilton, 17, had been hoping to go to Nepal with the charity Raleigh International before it went into liquidation

Now Calum fears that he will never see almost £4000 that he and his sponsors raised to allow him to go on the trip.

He had been due to fly out in October to meet up with other volunteers aged 17-24 where the plan was to work with local communities on water sanitation and hygiene programmes.

Read More

Read More
Robert is Grangemouth school's 'legendary janny'

Seven years after the south Asian country was devastated by an earthquake, the rebuilding work is still ongoing.

Last month Calum tackled the 22.6mile Glasgow Kiltwalk to help with his fundraising for the trip.

Volunteers had an individual target of £3800 and funds raised by Calum for his volunteering will contribute to the projects in Nepal and developing and delivering Raleigh International’s projects worldwide.

This week his mum, Anna, said he was “absolutely devastated” when the charity were in touch with details of the liquidation and the impact on Calum and all the other volunteers.

Raleigh International has operated since 1978 and placed over 55,000 young people from over 100 countries in its international sustainable development programmes.

Anna, who along with Calum’s dad David, had been supportive of his plans to spend his gap year abroad, said: “He is bitterly disappointed and a bit stunned.

"He’s not sure what his plans will be now. I think it’s the thought of having to do all that fundraising again.”

Prior to the shock announcement, Calum, who lives with his parents, and younger brothers Robbie and Blair in Dumyat Drive, said: “I want to go on the expedition with Raleigh as I've decided to take a gap year and wanted to make the most of the time I have.

"Travelling has always massively interested me but I would also really like to try living somewhere different and properly become immersed in a culture that differs from my own. I see this expedition as a way to do this on top of being able to give back to the people who provide the experiences that I will obtain.”

Having just sat Advanced Highers in Geography and Physics, as well as Highers in PE and Biology, Calum was looking for a challenge before he heads to university in 2023, where he thinks he will probably study engineering.

Raleigh International went into voluntary liquidation on May 19.

On its website the charity stated: “We appreciate this news will come as a devastating blow to our volunteers and supporters.

"We are exploring the possibility of working with our partners to continue our Re:Green programme in Scotland this summer.”