Wednesday 24th September 2008 by C. Freeman
Enterprising student Stuart Marriott has raised thousands of pounds in just ten months to pay for the trip of a lifetime. Stuart, from Year 12, is one of a group who are due to go to Peru next year. They each had to raise £3,795 to ensure their place on the month-long trip, organised by World Challenge.
The students have come up with a variety of money-making schemes but Stuart is the first to have raised the total amount with a combination of selling, sponsorship and shop-work.
Kettering Park Hotel gave Stuart a voucher for a spa day for two. Rather than just raffling it he wrote a quiz about Peru with the tie-breaker question being to estimate the temperature in Lima on a specific day. He learned more about Peru, sold 100 quizzes and boosted his fund to the tune of £100!
Stuart also sold cosmetics and bric-a-brac on eBay and at car boot sales. Friends and family donated unwanted goods including five caravan stabilisers which sold for £100 each. He and two friends also did a two-mile sponsored swim. The 128 lengths of Kettering pool took an hour and 40 minutes to complete and generated £400 towards Stuart's total.
Stuart raised a third of the money by saving his earnings from working in a shop but he also got cash donations from friends. A particular stroke of luck happened on the day that Stuart got his GCSE results. Not only did he get 2A*, 4A and 5B graded GCSEs, he also bought a Lottery scratch-card which netted him another £50!
Stuart said: 'It's a relief to have actually got the full amount but I'm continuing to fundraise for my injections and spending money. My friends were quite surprised when I said I'd raised the money.' The Peru expedition will include acclimatisation, a high altitude trek, a community project and a period to recuperate before the two staff and 22 students return to the UK.
Mr Nicholls, who is organising the expedition said: 'I find it staggering how well students like Stuart have risen to the first challenge of raising what only a few months ago, looked like an impossible sum to fund this expedition. Most of the Challengers are close to reaching their targets and everyone should have raised the necessary funds by early in 2009. Planning in earnest begins now.'