Portsmouth College youngsters jet off for a 12-day cultural experience

ON THEIR WAY The students and staff from Portsmouth College who are making a visit to the Leruto U Thando school in South Africa. Picture: Steve Reid (123372-686)
ON THEIR WAY The students and staff from Portsmouth College who are making a visit to the Leruto U Thando school in South Africa. Picture: Steve Reid (123372-686)
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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PORTSMOUTH College could form new partnerships with South African schools – thanks to a group of enthusiastic students.

The 11-strong group have jetted off for a 12-day journey across the vast landscape with the focus of forming links with the Leruto U Thando upper secondary school and Vulindlela Primary School.

They will be meeting the students and staff at both schools to see how their cultures differ.

The students will also experience the adventurous side of South Africa, including rafting, river camping, fishing and a trip to a lion enclosure.

But getting the chance to go on the trip was not an easy task for the students.

They spent the summer trying to raise the £300 target needed to secure their place by holding fundraising events and tasks.

A total of £1,100 raised will go towards buying a soundsystem for the Vulindela primary school and Leruto U Thando will be presented with a projector.

Oli Stone-Haughton, 17, raised more than £600 by holding a popular bowling event in Havant.

He said: ‘At school I had the chance to go to Gambia but I decided not to go.

‘I am looking forward to helping out there and teaching English. It will be really good because if the college can carry on every year, more students can be a part of it and build a legacy.’

Hannah Wright, 17, raised £300 by running across Southsea seafront every day during August.

She said: ‘I wanted the opportunity to visit a different country and experience a different culture.’

Ashley Doogan, 17, said visiting South Africa is fulfilling his ambition to travel the world. He said: ‘I organised a staff car wash in the college car park and it was a really enjoyable experience.

‘It’s important because it creates a good partnership between the two colleges.’

The trip is the brainchild of Peter Bolton, head of uniformed public services at the college, who said: ‘It will be really important to establish a legacy with the schools and the venues we go to so year and year out we just go and it becomes more effortless.’