A BOWNESS teenager will take on a lofty challenge as she raises money to help at schools in Afirca.

Izzy Richards will make a 20 metre (65 foot) sponsored abseil descent from St. Martin's Church tower.

Izzy is raising funds to support her year with Project Trust working as one of a pair of volunteers at Otjikondo School Village in Namibia.

Volunteers are expected to go at no cost to the community they support and must raise their own funding.

Ulverston based River Deep Mountain High Outdoor Activities will help Izzy make the descent safely.

“I've abseiled before,” said Izzy, “but a church tower will be a new thing.

I'm so busy with exams at the moment, I haven't got time to feel excited or worried about it.”

Izzy is also supported by her sister Eleanor (11) who is very keen to take on the challenge.

More nervous is a family friend the Lakes based poet and counsellor who blogs as Lucy Underwood at whattheafternoonknows.co.uk.

She has taken on the abseil as one of her personal challenge of 'fifty things' to do on turning fifty. Lucy says, “I’m glad to be able to support Iz—but I’ll be even more glad when I’ve done it!”.

St. Martin's folk have taken Izzy's cause to their hearts, and their generous support of her includes providing afternoon tea on the day, with proceeds also going towards her fund raising.

Izzy is currently an 'A' level student at the Lakes School, and when she goes to Namibia will be providing curriculum enrichment that wouldn't otherwise be available in art, music, and hockey.

Her volunteer journey began last summer with a selection week at Project Trust's headquarters on the Isle of Coll.

She goes for a training week on Coll in July before flying out at the end of August for her year away.

Project Trust has been organising long term voluntary placements in Africa, Asia and Latin America for young people since 1967, making them the most experienced educational charity specialising in overseas volunteering for school-leavers.

They annually select around 300 young people from across the UK for 8 – 12 month overseas teaching, social care and outward bound projects. Working with partners overseas, these projects are carefully chosen to ensure the volunteers’ skills can be put to good use in their host communities and do not take work away from local people.

Otjikondo School Village Foundation, a registered welfare organisation in the north-west of Namibia, supports a boarding school for approximately 240 children between the ages of 6 and 14.

It aims to give children from differing backgrounds a well rounded education and to furnish them with the skills and talents necessary for a successful future.

Otjikondo has become an example of excellence to other schools in the region. Their motto is ‘A Single Step Forward.’