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Harrogate pupil awarded prestigious travel scholarship to support overseas volunteering

Harrogate teen Oliver Thompson is on top of the world after being awarded a prestigious travel scholarship to support a year of volunteering overseas.

Harrogate pupil awarded prestigious travel scholarship to support overseas volunteering

A Harrogate teenager is on top of the world after being awarded a prestigious travel scholarship to support a year of volunteering overseas.

18-year-old Oliver Thomson, who has just completed his A-levels at Ashville College, is to spend a year in Thailand, helping young people as a teacher, before going to university to study physics.

Trustees of the Bulkeley-Evans Scholarship Fund have supported Oliver’s gap year ambitions by awarding him £1,200.

Of this year’s 14 award-winners, he is the only one who studied in the North of England.

He will be volunteering through Project Trust, a charity that has more than 50 years’ experience in providing ethical volunteering opportunities for young people, helping to inspire them and explore their potential.

Oliver, who studied at Ashville for seven years, said:

“I’ve always aspired to become more independent, grow my boundaries, and become a better global citizen.

“By volunteering I’m hopefully going to be making a significant difference to children’s lives, and it’s something that will have a lasting effect for them.

“My aunts and my dad did gap year projects with Project Trust, so I knew through them, and from my own research, that it was a good organisation and really helps people who live abroad.

“I originally planned to go straight to university, but I found myself increasingly looking up to those around me, and different guest speakers at Ashville, who had travelled the world and learned a lot from their experiences.

“I knew I wanted to experience the world in this way and not sit on my hands and let time go by without seizing every opportunity.”

He added:

“I’m very grateful to the Bulkeley-Evans fund for giving me this scholarship and making such a generous contribution to my gap year with Project Trust.

"Their support now means that I’m very close to hitting my fundraising target for what is going to be an amazing and important year and is something I’m really excited to be going on.

“I want to say a very big thank you to everyone who has donated, which means the world to me.

“I look forward to giving trustees regular updates from Thailand and returning to Ashville to talk to Sixth Formers about my experiences – hopefully inspiring others to follow in my footsteps.”

Oliver continues to fundraise for his gap year.

Activities range from busking in his local pub – he is also a talented musician – to taking part in the “Way of the Roses” cycle ride connecting the East and West coasts of England.

Find out more and support Oliver's voluntary work here. Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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