A DEDICATED volunteer will be taking on the Great South Run to support a project tackling poverty abroad.
Patrick Lavery, from Denmead, will travel to Nepal in January to spend three months volunteering with international development organisation Voluntary Service Overseas, as part of the UK government-funded International Citizen Service programme.
The 23-year-old will work with young volunteers in the country and Britain to help lift some of the world’s poorest people out of poverty.
He will then undertake an ‘action at home’ project, ensuring that his new skills also benefit the community.
Patrick will also live with a host family to fully immerse himself into the community and gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by people there.
Before Patrick leaves for Nepal, he needs to raise £1,500 for Voluntary Service Overseas, so has decided to take on the 10-mile challenge in Portsmouth on Sunday.
Patrick said: ‘I am running the Great South Run on the 20th of October. I am aiming to do it in one hour and 20 minutes - what will hopefully be a personal best.
‘So far I have raised £600 as a result of asking people to sponsor me for the Great South Run, a generous donation of £200 from the Portsmouth and Southsea Rotary Club, and an office cake sale which raised £70.’
The money Patrick raises will ensure that communities in developing countries continue to benefit from the work of future volunteers.
Patrick said: ‘I’m really looking forward to travelling to Nepal and helping to make a difference to the community.
‘I’m working on an education project, so I’m hoping I can help improve the level of parental engagement: many parents do not ensure their children finish school, hence the young people do not get qualifications and are more likely to fall into poverty.
‘I’m most excited about meeting the Nepalese volunteers I'll be working alongside, as it'll be really interesting to find out what life is like for young people there.’
If you’d like to support Patrick, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/patrick-lavery-vso
He said: ‘I would be very grateful for any donations towards my trip to help alleviate poverty in Nepal.’