Pupils out to bridge £6000 funding gap

global vision: Ryan Tobyn and Tristan Pennell are trying to raise �6000 each for their gap years. Picture: Gordon Fraser
global vision: Ryan Tobyn and Tristan Pennell are trying to raise �6000 each for their gap years. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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Two pupils from Beeslack High School are set to embark on the trip of a lifetime as part of a gap-year project.

Ryan Tobyn,16, and Tristan Pennell,17, both sixth year pupils at the Penicuik school, have been selected by gap-year Project Trust to live abroad for a year, working with those less well off than themselves.

Ryan will head to South Africa for 12 months next year to work in a care home or orphanage.

Tristan will fly to Thailand to teach English to local children.

Ryan said: “I can’t wait. I’m just really looking forward to getting away and doing something completely different. As well as the day job, I could also take football training in the evenings as well. It’s optional – I coach a local team, Loanhead Miners 2006, so I’m happy to do it. I will never get the chance to do this again.

“It will give me something to use when applying for university or whatever I want to do, but, long-term, I want to join the fire service.”

The pair each have to raise around £6000 for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and are now fundraising to reach their targets, ahead of their trips next September.

Ryan said: “I’m in the process of organising a West Highland Way walk and a battle of the bands event. I’m hoping to raise the money. There are also funding grants available from Trust.”

Aspiring teacher Tristan, originally from Canada is excited about heading to Thailand: “It’s a dream to do this. I think the experience of being able to learn from people while helping them learn English will be great. I could be teaching primary, secondary or even college students.

“And learning about different cultures and becoming a global citizen is great also.

“I hope to kind of grow as a person, gain experiences of other cultures and learn from other people –and prepare myself for later on in life.

“I just think it is going to be a really good way to help people, explore the world and bring the experience back.

“I have heard that the people in Thailand are really friendly and welcoming. I can’t wait to go.”

KEVIN QUINN