Hayley Relton teaching English in Cambodia

Charity champion spends holidays helping others

Our staff are rarely ‘off duty’ and continue to help children in need even when they are not at work.

Hayley Relton, Youth Justice Officer with the Targeted Youth Services team, likes travelling – but she doesn’t just lie on a beach. During her most recent trip she gave her time to teach children English in Cambodia.

Earlier this year, Hayley completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification and then travelled to Camodia, with the Bamboo organisation, where she taught in a school for children aged between five and 15.

“I had never taught before and I felt out of my comfort zone to start with,” recalls Hayley. “But I loved it really quickly. The school had nothing – no glass in the windows, nothing on the walls except a whiteboard; and the children sat on benches.

“The children were lovely, well behaved and so happy – and they all helped each other. They really wanted to learn. If you can’t speak English there you can’t get a job.”

“I miss it and would love to return,” said the intrepid traveller.

Meanwhile, since visiting Tanzania in Eastern Africa for the first time two years ago,  Hayley has been sponsoring a child there. “I fell in love with the place and really wanted to do something to help the children.

In addition, she received a friend request on Facebook from the Pamoja TZ-Child and Youth Foundation, who offer help with food and education to street children.

“I don’t normally accept friendship requests from organisations I don’t know but for some reason I did this time,” said Hayley.

“The Foundation wants to build a school where 40 children can get an education and which will provide accommodation for 20. They’ve got the land but need £4,000 to build the school.”

Hayley and her friends and family have raised nearly half that sum already. They completed a sponsored Glow in the Dark run/walk in Amsterdam; then Hayley, her Trust colleague Louise Black and others raised £1,165 from a sponsored zipwire challenge, for which they tackled the course in Wales - the longest zipwire in Europe and the fastest in the world.

“My son Dale and I are petrified of heights but once we had done it we really enjoyed it!” she said.

The money Hayley and team have raised has enabled the foundation to build the bricks for the school and to actually start building it.

Hayley’s aim is to help the foundation set up as an official charity and to help them to get sponsorship for children. She also plans to make a return trip to Tanzania during which she will volunteer with them.

 

“Having an Independent Visitor volunteer was the best thing that ever happened to me, and nine years later we’re still going strong. I'd be lost without you guys.”

Care leaver (aged 20)

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