WHILE most student dreams of a gap year abroad end up resulting in something more of a ‘staycation’ one Stroud girl has been given the opportunity of a lifetime with foreign volunteering.

Beth Townsend, 19, from Kings Road Rodborough, has earned a place on a programme with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) to go to a country in either Africa or Asia.

Next week she will find out which country she will be spending 3 months in from September to train and help impoverished communities with life skills and health advice.

While Beth admits she is “terrified” at leaving Europe for the first time, she is thrilled to be given the chance to do something others can only dream about.

“It was so amazing to be chosen by VSO and I was ecstatic to find out” said the teenager, who studies photography at Stroud Collage.

“I was going to go to university, but it was not for me. This just felt right it’s what I have always wanted to do.”

However Beth, who will begin the programme in September needs to raise £800 for the charity to secure the trip and is appealing for help.

“I’m holding cake sales with Rodborough Parish Church and I’ve also been selling my clothes on Ebay. I’m also saving money from my job at Waitrose. However, if anybody would like to donate to my justgiving account it would be really appreciated.” The cake sale will be held at Rodborough Parish Church 10am-12pm on Sunday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 25.

You can donate to her online at www.justgiving.com/Beth-Townsend1