Trip of a lifetime for young guide leader

Trip of a lifetime for young guide leader

2nd April 2014


A YOUNG guide leader is set for the experience of a lifetime as she prepares to journey across the globe to help children in one of the poorest regions of the world.

Elish Chambers, of St Michael’s Academy, Billingham, will join a team of ten young leaders from across the North of England, as part of an international guiding opportunity, based in Pune then visiting Mumbai (a growing commercial centre), in India, where over 30 per cent of the population live in abject poverty.

Elish, 15, of Billingham, will also spend time based in Ladakh, in the Himalayas, where she will also get to work in a Tibetan SOS school helping women, children and orphans by teaching English.

“We’ve been told to prepare for the harsh conditions and expect it to be like something out of Slumdog Millionaire,” said Elish.

“I think that it will be a real culture shock and a stark contrast to what I’m used to at home but I hope that I can help make a difference.

“I’ve also been told that the Indian children are not used to seeing people with red hair so I hope that that they will remember me.”

Elish, who has been involved in the guiding movement since joining her local Rainbow troop aged five, has been fundraising since October last year to raise the £2,600 needed to fund her trip.

“I’ve been given a small grant by our County Guide Group and also had support from local businesses,” said Elish.

“The mayor’s fund has given me £200 and lots of people have given me things to sell on Ebay which also helped to raise another £200.

“I still need to find another £1,000 so will be applying for some more small grants and hoping that people will continue to be as generous as they have been doing already.”

As well as working in Mumbai and Ladakh, the young leaders will also get the opportunity to trek in the Himalayas and visit the Taj Mahal.

Being part of the guiding movement is so inclusive,” said Elish. “I’ve already been to camps in North Yorkshire and in the USA meeting so many people from all over the world, helping me to understand different cultures.

“Being involved in the expedition to India is incredible and will definitely be a life-changing experience, which I believe will help me in my future career.

“I hope that the trip gives us the opportunity to help as many people as possible and more of an understanding of life and culture in a different country.”

If you would like to help Elish with the fundraising for her trip to India e-mail

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