Pupils hope to face challenge

Eighteen pupils from the Newent Community School are hoping to embark on the challenge of a lifetime to the mountains and rainforests of Peru next summer.

Fundraising and training has started in earnest to make the gruelling trip possible for the 15- and 16-year-olds, under the banner of the World Challenge Expeditions group. Each needs to raise £2,900 to take part.

The party recently underwent a training expedition in Snowdonia. This Sunday, the teenagers will host a fundraising open garden day at The Red House, Pillows Green, Staunton, from 11am to 5pm.

The gardens of the 1640 country house are normally open under the National Gardens Scheme. Plants will be for sale, as well as refreshments, and admission is £2.

Art teacher Alan Naylor, who is going with the students to Peru, said: "They will be involved in community work there, such as helping improve playground resources in Peruvian schools. There is also the chance of environmental work in a national park. It is the chance of a lifetime.

"The challenge will help them to develop essential life skills, including financial management, leadership, team work and decision making."

The party is keen to hear from any business or individual willing to offer sponsorship or support. Further details on 01531 820550.