A NORTH Berwick High School pupil “can’t wait” to travel more than 4,000 miles to spend a year volunteering in South America.

Grace Holling, the head girl at her hometown school, will spend a year volunteering in Guyana with the Project Trust.

But before the 17-year-old can make the 4,400-mile trip, where she will be a primary school teacher at a remote school, she must raise £6,200 to cover costs.

She is nearly halfway to her total already and explained how she was going about raising the money she needs.

Grace, who lives on the town’s Grange Road, told the Courier: To raise the target I have taken on a part time job at Cake cafe in North Berwick, I am babysitting and I have organised many events.

“I am holding a coffee morning in the Hope Rooms in North Berwick on Saturday, 10am-noon, and all are welcome! There will be a selection of home-baking, teas and coffees, and a raffle.”

The teenager, who is due to leave in August, is looking forward to the experience.

She added: “I was delighted after a vigorous selection course involving numerous individual and team exercises to be selected.

“By immersing myself in the community I will learn about the culture of Guyana and at the same time I hope to use my energy and skills for the benefit of my host community.

“My year in Guyana will expose me to an entirely new and different community, culture and way of life.

“It will be challenging and it is going to be very different to everything I’ve ever done and it will push me out of my comfort zone.”

Next summer’s trip won’t be Grace’s first volunteering expedition overseas – she was part of North Berwick High School’s trip to Malawi last year.

And Grace, who plans to study geography at university on her return, said that experience has “reassured” her ahead of the move to Guyana, adding: “In Malawi I slept on classroom floors and used long-drop toilets – living as part of a community was so different to just visiting a place.

“This made me want to be part of Project Trust and I can’t wait.”

Grace has created a blog for updates on her fundraising journey. Visit projecttrustvolunteergapyear.wordpress.com for more.

To make a donation to her cause, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GraceHolling